PM, Pranab welcome end of isolation
PM Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had the biggest stakes in the drama that was played out in Vienna, duly welcome the NSG decision, reports HT Political Bureau.Updated: Sep 06, 2008, 23:55 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had the biggest stakes in the drama that was played out in Vienna for three days, duly welcomed the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) decision on Saturday after the war was won.
The Prime Minister — who had risked the stability of his government on this issue — said after the 45-nation club that controls global nuclear commerce agreed in Vienna to grant India a wavier for conducting international trade that it would end India’s 35-year-long isolation from the nuclear mainstream.
He said the waiver was a “recognition of India’s impeccable non-proliferation credentials and its status as a state with advanced nuclear technology.”
Pranab Mukherjee said the waiver was a culmination of a process which had started three years back. “The journey has not only been long but required several steps to be taken sequentially including intense bilateral negotiations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Singh also came in for praise from the US President George W. Bush for his “strong leadership.” Bush called Singh minutes after the news of the NSG clearance came in from Vienna and praised his handling of the entire issue, PMO officials said.
Foreign Ministry officials said the turning point in the talks came on Saturday morning, when both the US and India reasoned with China about the importance of granting the waiver to New Delhi.
“President Bush spoke to President Hu Jintao and asked him to be reasonable. Here in Delhi, the Chinese ambassador was spoken to and it was conveyed that Beijing’s stand in the NSG should reflect the strategic partnership between the two countries,” the official said.
The Chinese opposition to the waiver at the 11th hour was cited by Samajwadi Party as proof of the deal being in national interest. “There was never a question on the deal being not good for the country,” SP general secretary Amar Singh said.
“China first tried to build internal resistance to the deal through its friends here and when it failed, it tried to take its opposition to the international level.”