As reported, a high-profile group of former military chiefs, ambassadors, senior bureaucrats, strategic planners, foreign secretaries, and nuclear and space scientists has addressed an open letter to MPs on the eve of the Parliament session to get the Indo-US Deal approved by majority in parliament without making it a political issue. It seems to be a last-gasp effort and interesting development. Let the MPs hear the opinion of the people who held very important and the highest positions on an issue of national importance.
Unfortunately, a majority of MPs will have to oppose the deal during the debate in both the houses because of the party’s directive or whip to do that. Some political parties wish to oppose it as they want to project themselves anti- American, otherwise major minority community may get offended as it treats US as anti-Muslim. Some oppose the deal with US as US is the only superpower today with the demise of the communist block led by Soviet Union, and China is still not ready to lead and they faithfully believe in communism as the only solution of all troubles. Some oppose it because they would have liked their own party to get the credit of taking the deal through.
The group has asserted that India could not hope to get a better deal, and have raised pertinent questions: “Can we do better without the agreement, or, can we get a better one? The answer to the second question is surely, no.”
“The agreement has given us as much as it has because of a most particular combination of circumstances which can hardly come again. To the contrary, there are forces at work internationally that will only complicate our position – for example, the growing pressure for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, or the growing potential of American opponents of the agreement.”
The Left seems to have softened its stand on letting the government open negotiations with IAEA. But BJP even after all the lobbying from the American heavyweights in administration seems to be undeterred and bent on cashing the political advantage of opposing the deal in the forthcoming elections.
Who can stop India from exploding more devices if it was ready to face the consequences? “Even under the Non-Proliferation Treaty – from which we are being exempted – a state can opt out and conduct a test if it feels that it is vital to its security.”
The signatories said the agreement with the US would put no fetters on India to produce more weapons if it deemed it necessary.
The signatories suggest accepting the “attainable” instead of holding out for the “ideally desirable”. A major obstacle to India attaining world power status “has been the denial of high technologies, particularly those related to security needs, which have enabled some self-selected powers to forge well ahead of us. We 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 US is actually the basis for agreement with the international community.”
Suddenly, the leftists are very much concerned to prove India’s sovereignty. According to the signatories, the nuclear deal wouldn’t put Indian foreign policy hostage to the US. “International 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.”
But will our great politicians listen to the advices of these dignitaries or some unscrupulous ones even brand them pro-American paid lobbyists to prove that they are the only to have the knowledge and concern of the dignity and future of the country?
I wish better sense prevails on MPs and party bosses so that Indian scientists don’t remain outcastes and India can get access to all scientific researches on equal terms. That is possible only if India goes ahead with the Deal.