Don’t teach us independent foreign police:Antony tells Left (Lead)

July 6th, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, July 6 (IANS) Terming the India-US nuclear deal a “must” for the country, Defence Minister A.K. Antony Sunday asked the Left parties to refrain from commenting on the importance of an independent foreign policy for India with regard to the deal. “There is no scare for the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government on the nuclear deal issue. India’s independent foreign policy was framed by (former prime minister Jawaharlal) Nehru and the Indian National Congress. And even when the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union were different blocs and countries aligned with them, India maintained its strong foreign policy,” Antony told reporters here.

“I do not want to say it in very harsh terms, but the Left need not teach us about independent foreign policy,” he asserted.

Antony said the deal was a “must” for the country “because we need to get nuclear energy for several nuclear stations in the country. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) has 45 countries and it includes China, Russia and several other countries and this is nothing which is India-specific”.

He, however, added that it would have been good if they had the support of the Left as well over the nuclear deal.

“The Left have the right to have their opinions and it is our wish that they too support this (deal),” the minister added.

Antony was here to meet veteran Congress leader K. Karunakaran, who celebrated his 90th birthday Saturday.

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