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123 pact makes it difficult to conduct N-test: Brajesh Mishra

He expresses the deal will make it difficult for India to carry out an atomic test as the cost will be far greater than in the past, reports
By HS Bartwal | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 08, 2007 06:34 PM IST

Former National Security Advisor (NSA) Brajesh Mishra has expressed the opinion that the Indo-US nuclear agreement will make it difficult for India to carry out an atomic test as the cost would be far greater than in the past.

The provisions of the 123 Agreement would also curtail India’s right to reprocess the nuclear fuel received from the US, he said on Karan Thapar’s ‘India Tonight’ programme on CNBC TV.

The deal would also have a bearing on the independent conduct of India’s foreign policy, he felt, stating that the pressures on the government would grow. The US, being the more powerful party, would frequently ask for India’s support every now and then, Mishra said.

"Suppose you have an Iraq type situation. Is the government of India is capable of saying no, we cannot do this. We do not agree with you and we are going to continue with our cooperation with Iraq,” he enquired.

Besides, Mishra pointed out, the agreement also left critical issues like the right to build fuel reserves, right to reprocess and access to sensitive technologies for the pact with the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers’ Group .

If, at any time in the future, India was faced with a security situation which required it to go for a nuclear test, any government at that point of time would be in a dilemma on whether to go ahead to deal with the strategic concerns and sacrifice all the benefits of the deal, the former NSA asserted.

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