New Delhi, Mar 26 : National Security Adviser MK Narayanan today said that the absence of political consensus on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in the country is a major handicap and this needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
He said due to this impasse the deal has been put on hold for the present. He was delivering the 25th Air Marshal P C Lal Memorial lecture in New Delhi.
Narayanan said that IAEA safeguard agreement and exemptions from nuclear supplier group are tied up.
He said the conclusion of the 123 Agreement would pave the way for India into nuclear commerce, and asserted that the civil nuclear cooperation agreement has nothing to do with India's strategic nuclear weapons programme.
Making the case in favour of the deal, Narayanan said to meet the energy demand of the growing economy, nuclear and non-conventional sources of energy have to be tapped and the agreement with the US and discussions with other countries in this regard should be seen in this perspective.
Referring to religious extremism and terrorism, which is posing threat to the peace and stability, Narayanan pleaded for a broad based national consensus on the issue.
He cautioned if appropriate steps are not taken in right earnest there is every danger that the multi-religious and multi-ethnic fabric of the country may be in jeopardy.
For tackling terrorism, Narayanan said POTA like laws have their own flaws and it is essential to seek the support of people to deal with this menace.
The National Security Adviser said that reform on national security would continue to tackle effectively Left-wing extremism and insurgency in the North-East.