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India can bomb us, says Aussie party

The opposition to uranium exports to India continues, with parties flaying Liberals.

world Updated: Apr 29, 2007 19:40 IST

The opposition to uranium exports to India continues, even though the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has officially dumped its 25-year-old no-new-uranium-mines policy in annual conference.

The Australian Green Party chief Bob Brown on Sunday added to the raging debate on export of the crucial nuclear fuel to India by saying that India can attack Australia with bombs made from the Australian uranium.

"We're in an age where China's got rockets that can reach Sydney. India just fired a rocket that went 3000km. Double that and they will very shortly ... be able to reach Australia too and we're exporting uranium to them. It is daft, it is immoral, it is unnecessary," Bob Brown said.

While not much importance is attributed to maverick politician's remarks, observers are taking policy speeches at Labor Party's Sydney conference with much more seriousness. The Australian opposition party is expected to win the government in elections held later this year.

Senator Chris Evans, Labor's energy spokesman has made it abundantly clear that Labor government would not sell uranium to India as the South-Asian country has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

He has also criticized the ruling Liberals for considering India in its list of uranium export destination countries.

In his speech, titled "Labor and Uranium - an Evolution", Evans has also opposed the idea of a domestic nuclear power industry.

While the head of the opposition Kevin Rudd was making announcement about the much-anticipated u-turn uranium mining policy in the Sydney conference, the Liberal Prime Minister John Howard was busy announcing establishment of 25 nuclear power plants in Australia.

While observers are battling to fathom the logic behind Labor u-turn on mining of the yellowcake and continuing opposition to indigenous nuclear industry, they are expressing empathy for the Indian case to buy Australian uranium.

The usage of polluting Australian coal by the booming Indian economy is also causing concern down under. The sale of uranium to 'world's largest democracy and a potential strategic counterbalance to China' is also being advocated by some quarters for these reasons.