July 18, 2006 is the First anniversary of the Indo-US Nuclear deal signed last year during PM Manmohan Singh’s visit to the White House. The deal was touted as the harbinger of a new “strategic relationship” between India and America.
One year on nothing of that sort seems to be happening.The much touted Nuclear deal has by now become a ploy in the hands of non-proliferation Ayatollahs in the US Congress who are using this deal to finally get a handle on the Indian Nuclear Programme which had so far eluded them all this while. Plus Washington is busy building up the military muscle of its “Non-NATO Ally” and “Crucial Ally” in the “War on Terror” by giving it a Bumper package of the latest Gizmo weaponry unmindful of the sensitivities of its new “strategic partner”.
It is better for this so called “deal” to be called off in India’s best interests. Even Dr Homi Sethna, India’s top nuclear scientist and former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission has opposed this deal by stating that India would be better off signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which permits the exit of any signatory nation, rather than the nuclear deal with the US that will bind the country for “perpetuity”.
One of India’s noted strategic analysts’ Brahma Chellaney in his Op-ed article titled Trick and treat on the First Anniversary of the Indo-US Nuclear deal has brought about the current sorry state of affairs with regard to the deal and the behaviour and attitude of the so called “Strategic Partner”.
He says “On its first anniversary, the Indo-US nuclear deal appears more of a curse than a boon, threatening to undermine India’s strategic autonomy and exacting mounting costs. The US, while continuing to peddle superstardom dreams to India, is unrelentingly building up Pakistan’s offensive capabilities against this country. Goodies to terrorist-haven Pakistan and ego massaging the long-suffering India have become the quintessence of the present US policy”.
He calls the deal as ‘NPT plus’ obligations (with no right of exit) and the “strategic partnership” as a non starter because “Washington refuses to be swayed by larger, long-term geopolitical considerations. In line with its traditional penchant for politically expedient policies with near-term goals, it is content with meretriciously repackaging old policies emphasising constraints on India’s deterrent and Indo-Pakistan ‘balance'”.