US recognises our security concerns: Kapil Sibal
Washington, Apr 9: Asserting US acceptance of India's nuclear 'separation plan' was 'a recognition of our security concerns', Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said the designation of eight of its 22 nuclear reactors for military purposes and thus out of the IAEA ambit was to meet 'security needs'.
In an informal chat with reporters here yesterday, Mr Sibal said he had sought to explain this to everyone he met during his visit to the US, including Congressmen, Senators, administration officials and members of the scientific community.
The Indo-US civilian nuclear initiative is ''neither about non-proliferation nor proliferation, it is simply about helping India overcome its energy needs for peaceful purposes,'' he said.
''If our record as being a country outside the NPT is better than the record of countries that are part of the NPT, I don't see how anybody can object to our being concerned about our security,'' Mr Sibal said, adding ''just as we understand the security concerns of the United States, so does Washington realise India's security needs.''
On his meetings with Senators and Congressmen, Mr Sibal said he found bipartisan support for the deal, which would be ratified by the US Congress without any hitch, especially after the testimony provided by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Ms Rice, during her testimony, said the pact would help satisfy the needs of India, that had ''managed its nuclear technology responsibly.''