India retains ‘legal right’ to test: Kakodkar

September 6th, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) Hours after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) granted historic waiver to India, Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar Saturday underlined that New Delhi has not compromised its “legal” right to conduct nuclear tests to get crucial exemption from the nuclear cartel. “India’s ‘legal’ right to conduct nuclear tests has been fully preserved. We have not made any commitment in this regard to gain the waiver from the NSG,” Kakodkar told reporters here.

“There is no explicit mention of (nuclear) testing (in the NSG waiver),” he said while stressing that the NSG waiver met all requirements of the Department of Atomic Energy.

“We have made no legal commitment (on nuclear tests),” Kakodkar said. He reiterated that India has already made a unilateral, voluntary moratorium on conducting atomic tests.

“Today is an important day as we have achieved a major breakthrough,” he said while calling the waiver to India to resume global civil nuclear commerce as “unique” that will end 34 years of nuclear isolation.

“There is nothing significant. You can see it for yourself when the waiver document is made public by the NSG shortly. It is a straightforward document,” he clarified when asked whether India had to accept any amendments or prescriptive conditions to win over sceptical NSG members.

“I think it is clear that people have understood and recognised the importance of this exemption for India from India’s track record, behaviour and energy needs,” he stressed.

Kakodkar also emphasized that India’s three-stage nuclear programme will continue.

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