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Indian nukes are 'ground zero' for jihadists: Canadian media

Even as Canadian PM Stephen Harper and PM Manmohan Singh resolved to deepen bilateral ties, the Canadian media says a nuclear deal could be risky because of terrorist threats to India's sites. They cite the recent alert at India's nuclear facilities as a warning to the Canadian government that is keen to clinch the deal.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2009 11:31 IST

Even as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resolved to deepen bilateral ties, the Canadian media says a nuclear deal could be risky because of terrorist threats to India's sites. They cite the recent alert at India's nuclear facilities as a warning to the Canadian government that is keen to clinch the deal.

In their reports, the Canadian journalists, who even spell the name of one of the most known faces of the 20th century as Ghandi (for Mahatma Gandhi), have also raked up the past - that India cannot be trusted because it appropriated their nuclear technology to make nuclear bombs.

Before embarking on this assignment, perhaps these journalists were briefed by biased Canadian bureaucrats for whom "terrorist violence, such as bombings in public areas and on public transportation, occurs throughout India....attacks can take place anywhere and at any time in India..."

Opposing the proposed civil nuclear deal between the two countries, John Ibbitson of the Globe and Mail, who is perhaps visiting India for the first time, says: "But India's nuclear facilities have been placed on high alert, as evidence emerges that two men, one of them Canadian, might have scouted sites for the terrorist attack on Mumbai last year..."

Carrying his ridiculous argument further, he writes:"Does Canada really want to help sell nuclear technology to a country that is the midst of such a volatile region, a country that in the 1970s appropriated our first foray into building Indian nuclear reactors to help fashion nuclear weapons, a country whose nuclear reactors would be an ideal ground zero for jihadists?"

Writing in the left-wing Toronto Star, Rick Westhead says: "For Harper, the visit may have to do less with new trade deals or warmed relations than with building ties to Indo-Canadian voters before the next election.

"So rather than strategizing on new bilateral investment with India's Ambani brothers, the prime minister will travel to the Golden Temple in Amritsar - the holiest shrine in the Sikh faith - and meet with Hindi film star Akshay Kumar, a torchbearer for the Vancouver Olympics."

Not surprisingly, the current Canadian prime minister has always had prickly relations with his nation's media.