123 pact will override Hyde Act, says Sibal | india | Hindustan Times
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123 pact will override Hyde Act, says Sibal

india Updated: Aug 22, 2007 05:09 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

It doesn’t get better than this. That’s what the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) will tell the Left parties in the upcoming parliamentary debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal, which has threatened the survival of the government itself.

The government will make it clear to the naysayers that once the US Congress has ratified the 123 Agreement, it will override the Hyde Act.

Government’s argument

The government will tell the Left naysayers that if India which analysts predict will drive worldwide economic growth by 2050 — rejects the N-deal, it will be relegated behind China.

It will try to drive home the point that India has got a far better deal from the US than China and cannot afford to throw away this huge advantage.

Furthermore, it will expound in Parliament that the deal is not just restricted to civilian nuclear cooperation but will open doors for collaboration in the fields of agriculture, medicine, IT and several other sectors, something that India was denied for 60 long years.

Kapil Sibal, Minister of Science and Technology, told HT: “It is not a demonic agreement. The Indo-US 123 agreement will override their national legislation in the event of a conflict.” The UPA will make an effort to put across the point that if India, which analysts predict will drive worldwide economic growth by 2050, rejects the deal, it will be relegated behind China. The theme of the government’s argument would be that India has got a far better deal from the US than China and cannot afford to throw away that advantage.

“It is an erroneous belief that India will become subservient to the US as an outcome of this deal. Did that happen to China? The deal serves to illustrate the arrival of India as a major player in the world’s geo-politics,” said Sibal.

At this point in time, the Left parties — the CPM, CPI, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party — refuse to budge from their aggressive anti-deal posture. But Sibal is sanguine about the Left softening its stance after the government presents its case in Parliament. “We are hopeful that all parties will rise above politics to serve national interest,” he said.

The government will expound in Parliament that the agreement is not only restricted to civilian nuclear cooperation but will also open doors for collaboration in the fields of agriculture, medicine, information technology and several other sectors — something that was denied for 60 years.

“The deal is a historic opportunity to access technologies available to China. It will enable the scientific community to take part in research in diverse fields for the benefit of the common man,” the minister said.

The UPA will tell the Left that the US has handed out more concessions to India than China. For instance, China is subject to US inspections whereas India will be exempt. Also, the reactors supplied to Beijing are low-grade and unfit to produce weapons-grade material. “Moreover, several technologies have not been made available to China,” Sibal pointed out. He said India was not duty-bound to obtain reactors from the US and could source these from countries like Russia and France to suit its interests.

And finally, the government is likely to ask the Left what the big fuss is all about when the agreement can be terminated by giving a year’s notice.