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Uproar in RS over Pak's nuclear programme

The members expressed serious apprehensions over reports that Pakistan planned to have a nuclear reactor.

india Updated: Jul 26, 2006 13:59 IST

Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice in pre-lunch session on Wednesday with NDA and Samajwadi Party members creating uproar demanding a categorical response from the government on Pakistan's nuclear programme.

The members expressed serious apprehensions over reports that Pakistan planned to have a nuclear reactor that could generate plutonium for up to 50 atomic bombs a year and wanted to know India's response to the development which threatened to disturb peace in the region.

When members pressed for a response, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who was present in the House, said there could not be an instant reply for everything. "It cannot be like instant coffee," he said and left the House.

This triggered a bout of strong protests from BJP and SP members who trooped into the well creating bedlam for 15 minutes leading to the first adjournment of the House for 30 minutes.

The opposition members demanded that Mukherjee should apologise for his remarks which, they said, amounted to insulting the House.

Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled and Deputy Chairperson K Rahman Khan adjourned it within minutes till lunch.

Raising the issue, Digvijay Singh (JD-U) said in the last two days newspapers are reporting that Pakistan was developing a reactor capable of producing 50 nuclear bombs.

Murli Manohar Joshi (BJP) asked what steps New Delhi was taking in view of what he termed as "double standards" being adopted by Washington which was not imposing any restriction on Pakistan but at the same time putting a cap on India.

He said this would have an adverse effect on India's nuclear capability.