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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

I do not go by fixed time frame: Pranab

PTI  Chennai, July 26, 2008
First Published: 18:38 IST(26/7/2008) | Last Updated: 20:19 IST(26/7/2008)
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said no time frame had been prescribed for the operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

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"I do not go by prescribed time frame. Whatever we have to do, we have done it," Mukherjee, who was in Chennai to attend a function of Indian Statistical Institute, told reporters.

He said the government had approached the IAEA Board of Governors with India specific safeguards for taking the nuclear deal for its approval in IAEA vote.

"They will meet on August 1. I hope the Board of Governors would accept India specific safeguard agreement", he added.

Asked whether China would oppose the deal in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Mukherjee denied any knowledge of Chinese opposition to NSG granting a waiver to India.

"I am not aware of any problem with China", he added.

On the Left campaign against the deal, he said in a democracy there will be always a debate on both sides. "Debate is always good. It is a healthy sign of democracy."

To a question on alleged attacks by the Sri Lankan navy on Indian fishermen, he said, "We are vigilant to protecting our national interest. Our foreign policy is always to maintain good relationship with all neighbouring countries."

Earlier, during his inaugural speech at a function organised by Indian Statistical Institute, Mukherjee said eminent scientists and statisticians had laid the foundation of country's economic growth.

"It is because of the strong foundation laid by our scientists, we have more skilled workforce", the veteran Congress leader said.

Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation G K Vasan was also present.


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