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Jaswant criticises UPA for signing nuke deal with US

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 20 (UNI) Former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh today criticised the Manmohan Singh Government for signing the civilian nuclear agreement with the US and described the deal as ''net lose rather than a net gain for India''.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC, Mr Singh, who is the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said he had examples that India had already started paying a price for the deal and US was putting pressure on India on several issues including Iran.

He, however, did not disclose the examples but said he has accessed information about the US pressure as early as in March.

Mr Singh said he had also written a letter to the Prime Minister last week but had not received any reply so far.

He dismissed the assertion that India would get benefits under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a nuclear weapon state after signing the agreement and said that instead it would have a ''load of the NPT''.

''It is not a deal we ought to be considering...we have not signed the NPT and cannot be conferred a status of a nuclear weapon state unless we sign it. We won't have any benefits, we will only have a load of the NPT.'' On the issue of the Minimum Credible Nuclear deterrent, Mr Singh said the quality as well as quantity would be to India's disadvantage. He said the agreement should not become a ''flagship and the only icon'' of Indo-US relations.

UNI RB HS KN2349

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