Nuke deal to crystalise India's energy self-suffiency: Pranab

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Kolkata, Oct 27 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today reiterated that the Indo-US Nuke deal would not jeopardise the country's sovereignty and would go a long way in meeting the shortfall in energy.

Talking to newsmen here, Mr Mukherjee said the treaty would help revive the past glory of India in regard to nuclear programme as the Developed nations had "sidelined" and belittled the achievements of the country after the Pokhran explosions.

'' October 10, 2008, is the most momentous day for India as the historic agreement was signed between the US and the world's largest democracies assuring energy self-sufficiency for the latter, '' Mr Mukherjee observed.

'' Like the Nuke deal, at the time of Pokhran explosions also India had faced opposition from some neighbouring countries, but under the guidance of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi our country passed all hurdles and emerged victorious, '' he said.

Admitting that India had some reservations earlier in respect of signning arms treaty with the US taking into account its "apathy" towards Pokhran explosion, Mr Mukherjee clarified, '' We had some reservations, but those were wiped out after receiving the offer of the nuke deal from President George Bush giving due importance to India. '' He said at present the country was facing shortage of one lakh MW of power and by 2050, it would reach to 8 lakhs MW and claimed that the treaty would crystalise India's self-reliance on energy.

The External Affairs Minister asserted that India would never utilise the deal for military purpose, it would only be practised for peaceful developmental programmes.

'' The nuke treaty is a small beginning, its a passport and visa which will help us to ink such deals with other countries in the future, if required, '' he maintained.

'' If we succeed in storing 40,000 MW nuclear energy by 2030, it will ensure and prove India enjoying an independent foreign policy and will preserve our rights in the world fora, '' Mr Mukherjee opined.


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