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India's right to conduct nuclear tests intact: PM

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 23 (UNI) Allaying all apprehensions over the Indo-US nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India had unambiguously told the US that New Delhi would stick to its right to conduct further nuclear tests and keep its strategic nuclear and thorium research programmes going.

Dr Singh said US President George Bush had assured him that it was not the intention of Washington to change the goal posts of the nuclear deal and despite this if there was any deviation in the final law, that was underway in the US Congress, India would ''draw appropriate conclusions'' as the agreement was to be implemented step by step on a reciprocal basis.

''We will of course have the sovereign right to protect our national interest'' if India's national security considerations warranted a nuclear test, the Prime Minister said in his 45-minute reply to a Lok Sabha debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal under Rule 193.

Addressing each and every x x x Editors: Pl pick up from lead para of PAR-49, NUCLEAR DEAL-PM TWO LS.

UNI SN VD GC2032

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