'India's non-proliferation track record better than most'
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'India's non-proliferation track record better than most'

Indian Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen says New Delhi's track record in non-proliferation was much better than any other nation.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2006 11:44 IST

Admitting that there was opposition to the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal in both the countries, India has said New Delhi's track record in non-proliferation was "much better" than any other nation.

In his address at the Potomac institute of policy studies on Friday, Indian Ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen acknowledged that the nuclear agreement between the United States and India had some opposition but asserted that the debate is dissimilar in the two countries.

"There is a little bit of history," Sen said when asked about the opposition in India where some had raised the question of whether Washington will stay the course or pull the rug from under the feet down the line.

"We are unique in many ways. Our track record is much better than many of the countries represented in the Nuclear Supplier's Group," he quipped referring to the apprehensions about India on the non-proliferation front.

Sen pointed out that it was not for India to set the timetable on when the agreement is going to get through Congress.

"We recognise the separation of powers."

The Indian ambassador said he is aware of the fact that there is a "lot of speculation" on the legislation currently pending in the Senate, but it is basically left to the legislative chamber and to the Bush administration as to how it is going to deal with the issue.

In his formal presentation, Sen took on a popular misconception that somehow relations between the United States and India were "bad" maintaining that this was not a correct assessment. The relations were episodic "between good, warm and cold".

In the last 18 months, there has been a "new direction, content and momentum" in the bilateral relationship and this is sustainable because it is based on mutual trust.

Evading a direct comment on the peace deal struck by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf with the tribal leaders of Northern Waziristan, he said, "We would welcome any step if it contributed to the dismantling of the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan".

On Indo-Pak relations, Sen stressed that it is difficult to conduct negotiations in a framework of terrorism and said that steps must be taken to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism.

Asked about the situation in neighbouring Nepal and Bangladesh, Sen said, "Yes we are concerned."

Noting that the situation in both the countries is indeed "worrisome", he hoped, "Whatever happened in our neighborhood, there has been a spillover into India. We have paid a very heavy price".

"We have a vital national security interest in the stability of our neighborhood," he added.

First Published: Nov 04, 2006 11:44 IST