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Indo-US civillian initiative a very bad nuclear deal: New York Times

Written by: Staff
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Washington, Apr 7 (UNI) Leading American daily ''The New York Times'' has questioned the Bush administration's efforts to get Congressional approval for the Indo-US civilian nuclear initiative, saying that ''the central question is not the importance of India, but rather the importance of deterring a global nuclear arms race.'' In a strongly worded editorial the newspapers said, ''The pact would allow India to make an end run around the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty's (NPT) basic bargain that countries renounce nuclear weapons in exchange for the right to import sensitive nuclear technology to produce energy.'' Although it applauded President Bush's desire to build a strong relationship with India, the NY Times said, ''In trying to give India a special exemption, Mr Bush is threatening a carrot-and-stick approach that has been effective for more than 35 years,'' it added.

It also pointed out that NPT has worked well to persuade countries like South Korea, Japan and Brazil to forgo nuclear weapons.

In the editorial titled ''The Indian Nuclear Deal'' the NYT said, ''The notion of advice and consent must include the ability for lawmakers to balk when the price for something becomes too high.

Such is the case now, as the Bush administration tries to get Congress to approve the very bad nuclear deal it has struck with India.'' Commenting on yesterday's hearings in the Senate on the deal, the daily said it was unfortunate that Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and its ranking Democrat, Senator Joseph Biden, appear likely to support the deal.

It also countered what Senator Lugar said on the central question of ''How important is India'' to make up lawmakers' mind.

''We beg to differ. The central question is not the importance of India, but rather the importance of deterring a global nuclear arms race,'' the editorial said.

UNI XC PM RS2124

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