A done deal

The NSG has granted the necessary waiver and India is now free to start importing nuclear reactors, fuel and other assorted materials from any NSG member country willing to supply them. And since the US has no plans of being left out in the cold, its Congress will in all probability give its nod to the 123 agreement, most probably in a “lame duck” session sometime at the end of the year.

Granted that the US has “leaned” quite heavily on many countries that were coming in the way of the waiver, but they were asking for it. India has not indulged in proliferation of nuclear technology, unlike the Chinese and Pakistanis (the Chinese have the chutzpah to demand that the NSG “equally address the aspirations of all parties”, in other words, Pakistan), and to say that the deal and the NSG waiver which circumvents the NPT regime is a “non proliferation disaster” is saying something incredibly stupid, and so is any attempt at inserting provisions related to nuclear testing in a waiver that is essentially about nuclear energy for civilian purposes. India objected, and rightly so.

The NPT is a discriminatory regime which only recognizes as Nuclear Weapon States those states that had “manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to January 1, 1967.” Since India only did its first test in 1974 (read the entire history of India’s nuclear weapons program), if it signed the treaty, it would have to dismantle its nuclear weapons arsenal while the belligerent China could keep its own – not something that we can do. Only those who don’t understand geopolitics or India will make such asinine demands. And such people should probably keep their thoughts to themselves. The NSG waiver is the only way (other than signing the NPT) that India could have been part of the global nuclear bazaar. And that is why it is important.

The BJP and the communists cannot let go of phrases like “sell out” and “American imperialism”. But they don’t seem to understand the situation, particularly Yashwant Sinha and his BJP. Regardless of the nuclear deal, there is no way India can conduct yet another unilateral nuclear test and get away with it. So, Sinha’s statement, “India has forever lost the right to conduct nuclear tests,” is irrelevant. I hope they come to their senses sooner rather than later.

What irritate me most, however, are op-eds like these

The deal risks triggering a new arms race in Asia: If it passes, a miffed and unstable Pakistan will seek nuclear parity with India, and China will fume at a transparent U.S. ploy to balance Beijing’s rise by building up India as a counterweight next door. The pact will gut global efforts to contain the spread of nuclear materials and encourage other countries to flout the NPT that India is now being rewarded for failing to sign. The U.S.-India deal will divert billions of dollars away from India’s real development needs in sustainable agriculture, education, health care, housing, sanitation and roads. It will also distract India from developing clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and from reducing emissions from its many coal plants. Instead, the pact will focus the nation’s efforts on an energy source that will, under the rosiest of projections, contribute a mere 8 percent of India’s total energy needs — and won’t even do that until 2030.

If Pakistan wants to sulk and bankrupt itself by engaging in an arms race with India, so be it. And if China “fumes” at US ploys, it will find that it is in the same boat as India – we “fumed” as China tried to build up Pakistan as a counterweight to us. The most irritating part? The by now very familiar patronizing “deal will divert billions of dollars away from India’s real development needs.” Why does India spend so much money on useless things when there are millions of half naked people barely get one meal a day? There is a very simple solution to the problem. Let the whole world decide that they will disband their militaries and give up all kinds of weapons and weapons research. That should comfortably free up at least one trillion dollars (if not more) in funds that can be used not only in India’s development but also in Africa. No? These are the same voices that will watch silently as the developed world zooms around in a few hundred million cars but will cry blue murder when the Tatas give us a very affordable Nano, or fly around in Boeing 737s to attend conferences on “global warming”.

Well, whatever people may think of it, the deal is done. Its time for the BJP to come down to earth and rethink its position. And its time for the “”nonproliferation ayatollahs” (the op-ed writer finds this term insulting, so how about “nonproliferation wackos” or “nonproliferation nutjobs” or “nonproliferation neanderthals”) to go and rethink their positions as well.

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Comments

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On September 7, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    interesting POV from a pakistani site
    http://www.fact.com.pk/dailyfact/israel.php

    yes, the deal is done though the domestic politics still continues to confuse indian public. i can’t stand to watch the debates on these news channels which are always the same. the deal doesn’t state automatic termination but it still lies in “uncertainty” as far as “conditions” go. yet another reason why these debates will never reach a consensus besides playing politics.

    most countries probably realized that this is the closest they could come to persuade india to consider non-proliferation. i think a written moratorium of self imposed ban was all that was needed.

    china seems to have walked away after bush called the chinese premier. theres no way china can make a similar deal with pakistan as some analysts had predicted simply because of it’s consensus backed process.

  • Renjith Nair  On September 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I wish to see what will be the face value of this waiver & exemptions if India go to do a Nuclear test TOMORROW or ANYTIME or If India decides to go ahead with LPG pipeline project
    with Iran. Legacy Of Americans tell us they will lick as long as one being obedient to them otherwise they will suck. Also, I hope Manmohan singh would be alive that time.

    As always, Illiterate (Sorry, I meant to say common man is still don’t know what is this deal, they just know their daily life is MISERABLE because of UNAFFORDABLE COST OF LIVING) and comic goons are on the street celebrating beating drums as if they got independence from Americans!!.

    Almost 75% of Indians are still living in utter poverty not because our country didn’t have NSG waiver and Nuclear deal. They people who are going to prosper by this deal are a group of American businessmen,a section of NRIs acting as middlemen and CROOKED POLITICIANS IN INDIA.That will remain as a truth.

    If this deal is all about ending acute power crisis in this country, the people all the way praising this deal should wait and see whether this will end the electricity appetite of this nation and how it is going to elevate the poor people of this country. A country with no specific and strict protocols to stop the simple technical faults, transmission leaks and THEFT in electrical transmission systems yet. A country where disaster management,planning & coordination is a myth even in this 21st Century. Still millions are left out homeless in floods every year. who care about them???? I am wondering what this deal is all about!.

    What kind of leaders our people choose and send to parliament, and the people shall have to pay the price for it. What a pity situation of my country!.People are being treated as idiots by their own leaders. This what is Indian democracy!.

    Indians will have to wait for many years and luckly if there is a visionary leader with strong political will and nationalistic agenda, then their dreams can be fullfilled. Otherwise the pockets of polticians are only going to be filled with currencies!

    GOD SAVE THIS COUNTRY.

  • you12  On September 7, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I like the deal. But the deal has exposed the darkness that exists in all political parties in India. All of them. And I am not sure whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.

  • aristotlethegeek  On September 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    @y.a.h.i.
    The Indian television news media sucks – too many people who scream at the top of their voices, and who are too keen to editorialize on every occasion without providing the facts first. Cannot expect a sane and non-jingoistic piece of work from them.

    The deal is done and we don’t intend to test. Let the nonproliferation zealots and our “sellout” brigade do whatever it is they wish to do. I don’t think people noticed it, but former NSA Brajesh Mishra has allegedly (if we believe the newsflashes from one of the “better” english news channels) said that India should probably sign the CTBT. Now that is a shocker.

    @renjith
    Time to realize that no country in the world can simply go ahead and do a nuclear test while expecting that the others would keep quiet. Except North Korea, no country has detonated the bomb in over a decade, and NK’s bomb is suspect. The deal is less about electricity and more about geopolitics and strategy.

    We all know how corrupt the Indian system is, and how illiterate most Indians (even the “educated” ones are. But that does not mean that we turn our backs on a good deal. Indian democracy is pathetic, and it shows. But marrying the deal with its state is a mistake.

    @you12
    The darkness has been out in the open for a long time now, its not as if we came to know about the corruption in our system during the July trust vote.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On September 7, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    bjp says i’ll re-negotiate the deal with the americans once they come in power.

  • you12  On September 8, 2008 at 1:14 am

    IF there was an IQ test for parties, BJP would score less than average. They don’t know what to speak.

    Even worse than that they have Advani as their Leader, and Advani has no mind of his own, he is a mere party poppat. Its a far cry from the days of Vajpayee who was actually a leader.

  • humanismrules  On September 9, 2008 at 1:39 am

    As a matter of fact I tend to agree with some comments and disagree with some others. The Nuclear deal will end our power woes, which we have been facing even sixty years of independence.We couldn’t have done it without the US is a point which is debatable. A section of scientists did mention initially that with some technology advances we can use other sources of fuels and also make better reactors, but as is the case with the Indian space program or the MIGs we tend to lack the will to implement these plans which are politically motivated. Someone must be gaining in all this N-deal else the US will never put its weight behind the deal. As was the case in Iraq, after the war most businesses went to near and dear ones of the president or VP same might be true in this case. Still we might benefit by the deal just the intent must be right, which is a highly doubtful scenario in politics, be it India or the US.

  • you12  On September 9, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Oh the deal is good no doubt about that. India will have access to any type of technology it likes and India’s status as a nuclear power is confirmed. And now that the deal is through,
    politics to an extent is over.

    US will be benefiting financially and now they also have a reliable ally in Asia.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On September 10, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Yes, the US should be thanked for this deal done. but remember: this dog sometimes bites!!!

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