chiefs, top bureaucrats and scientists vote for Indo-US nuclear deal
17 November 2007
A caucus of influential former military chiefs, bureaucrats, scientists along
with some members of parliament, have come out in support of the Indo-US nuclear
deal, saying that the 2005 US-India civil nuclear cooperation agreement is the
best that India can hope for.
an open letter, published in the national daily Indian Express, these experts
say they believe that the civil nuclear cooperation, as stated in the agreement,
will not only serve the country's national security interests, but also ensure
India's evolution as a principal power in the global comity of nations.
welcoming Parliament's decision to debate the deal during its winter session,
the experts expressed the opinion that the one obstacle coming in the way of India
exerting a significant influence in the shaping of the modern world, was its lack
of access to high technologies, "particularly those related to security needs".
will continue to be denied access to such technologies unless the international
community agrees to remove the existing sanctions. In opening the way to such
an outcome, what is formally a bilateral agreement between us and the USA is actually
the basis for agreement with the international community," the paper quotes
the experts, as saying in their open letter.
community combines to impose crippling constraints not only on our nuclear programme
but, by withholding so called dual-use technologies, on a wide range of possibilities
for improving the lives of our people," they suggested, adding that "existing
constraints can only be removed through an agreement with those who impose them,
which this accord (US-India nuclear deal) makes possible."
can claim the deal is perfect, or gives us everything we would have liked. But
all international agreements require movement away from one's first preferences.
All too often in our history we have suffered by insisting on the ideally desirable
and rejecting what is attainable. The agreement has given us as much as it has
because of a most particular combination of circumstances which can hardly come
again," they said.
realise that there are many Indians, no less concerned about our security interests
than ourselves, who disagree with us. Democracy demands and thrives on differences
of opinion. We only urge that opinion be shaped by facts and reality.
relationships are shaped by strength, the stronger you are the greater your freedom
of action. We believe India is more vulnerable to foreign pressures without this
agreement than we would be by increasing our strength through an intelligent use
of it to put through various development programmes, which currently falter. This
agreement should be viewed as an instrument for making us that stronger power,
confident of itself and of the respect of others that counts more and more in
the world, and can do more for its people."
of the Air Force, Arjun Singh, former chief of the Indian Air Force
Chief Marshal OP Mehra, former chief of the Indian Air Force
VN Sharma, former chief of Army Staff
General VP Malik, former
chief of Army Staff
Admiral Ram Tahliani, former chief of Naval Staff
Admiral Madhvendra Singh, former chief of Naval Staff
Srinivasan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission
former chairman of the Space Commission
K Subrahmanyam, former founder/director
of IDSA, former secretary, defence production, former convener, NSAB
Roddam Narsimha, former director of National Institute of Advanced Studies
and director, National Aeronautical Laboratory
Dr R Rajaraman, former
professor of School of Nuclear Sciences, JNU
K Santhanam, former senior
scientific advisor to Ministry of Defence
BG Deshmukh, former cabinet
secretary and principal secretary to the prime minister
former member of the Planning Commission, former commerce secretary and ambassador
to the US
NN Vohra, former principal secretary to the prime minister,
former home secretary and former defence secretary
former governor of Gujarat, former cabinet secretary, former secretary, home and
Narendra Sisodia, former secretary, defence production and
ministry of finance
MK Rasgotra, former high commissioner to the UK,
former ambassador to France and former foreign secretary
Bajpai, former ambassador to Pakistan, China and the US, former secretary,
K Raghunath, former ambassador to the USSR, former
Lalit Mansingh, former ambassador to the US, former
SK Lambah, former ambassador to Pakistan, Germany,
Arundhati Ghose, former ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament.
reports on Defence
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