'Strong security rationale behind N-deal with US'
In the midst of US Congress debate on Indo-US nuclear deal, India on Thursday said there was a "strong security rationale" behind the pact and held out the bait of spin-offs of the country's expertise in reactor refurbishment which could help revive global nuclear industry.
In an address at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran made it clear that India "cannot be a partner and a target" of international nuclear regime and brushed aside suggestions that the separation of military and civil nuclear facilities would open the possibility of massive increase in New Delhi's weapons programme.
"The issue that encapsulates the convergences of relations between the United States and India is that of the civilian nuclear energy arrangement and this initiative will determine for good reasons the direction of future ties between the two countries," he said.
"It has a strong security rationale as it would enable India to make a fuller contribution to global non-proliferation efforts," Saran said.
Saran spoke of the economic rationale and benefits of the nuclear agreement, pointing out the acceleration in India's progress will not only have dramatic anti-poverty consequences but would significantly strengthen global economy.
Pointing out that the accord had a technology component as well, he said, "Indian scientists now have much to bring to the table, especially in areas where they have established technology leads. Even in fields like reactor refurbishment, we are extremely innovative and competitive and our activities outside India can expedite the global revival of the nuclear industry."