Indo-US nuclear deal not anti-Muslim: Pawar
NCP leader and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday said, some political parties are trying to extract electoral mileage by dubbing the Indo-US nuclear deal as anti-Muslim.
"It is very unfortunate that certain political parties are trying to give a religious colour to the nuclear deal," Pawar said.
Defending the deal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's stand, Pawar said almost all the Gulf countries have very strong ties with the US.
"It is beyond my comprehension that how the deal could be anti-Muslim. Even our neighbour Pakistan as well as almost all the Gulf countries have very strong relationship with the United States," Pawar told a seminar organised by the All India Muslim OBC organisation.
Pawar said India always maintained an independent foreign policy and it will not be affected because of the nuclear deal.
"Even our government criticised the policies of the Bush administration towards Iraq and Iran. We maintain an independent foreign policy and it will remain so," he said.
The people who are opposing the deal in the name of religion are doing politics which is never acceptable.
Extending his full support, the Maratha strongman said the deal was not between George W Bush and Manmohan Singh.
"Informed people told me the deal was passport to our development. It is an agreement between India and the US which will help India access to key technologies," he said.
Without naming any party, Pawar came down heavily on those who indulge in "politics of hatred".
He also asked Muslim leaders to "initiate sincere efforts on spreading education among the community as it was very important for overall development".