NSG waiver being made to conform to Hyde Act: CPI-M

August 23rd, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) With some NSG countries demanding changes in the terms of the waiver at the grouping’s first meeting, the Communist Party of India-Marxist Saturday again raked up the Hyde Act anxieties, saying the NSG exemption will be designed in such in a way that will “further compromise India’s interests”. “The draft submitted by the US seeking a waiver on sanctions on nuclear trade for India from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the subsequent discussions makes clear that the Hyde Act conditions will be built into this waiver,” the CPI-M politburo said in a statement here entitled “Another Surrender in the Offing”.

“Whatever wording the US will make in a revised draft, as in the case of the 123 agreement and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards agreement, the NSG waiver too will be in conformity with the unacceptable conditionalities of the Hyde Act,” the party said.

“The whole attempt is to see that a text of the waiver is so drafted that will allow the Indian government to claim that it has virtually got a clean waiver.

“The country has to be warned that the Manmohan Singh government after binding itself fully to the Bush administration on the nuclear deal, will now go forward to further compromise India’s interests,” the party said.

The CPI-M leads the Left Front, which withdrew support to the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) last month following their differences over the India-US civil nuclear deal.

The two-day meeting of the NSG ended in Vienna Friday on an inconclusive note with several member counties asking the US to include provisions relating to testing and the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in the draft waiver.

The NSG will meet again Sep 4-5 to discuss a new exemption draft which is expected to accommodate some of these sensitivities in changed wording of portions of the text, but not in a such manner that will effectively kill the nuclear deal.

The US and India are working hard to make the draft more acceptable to the NSG without compromising the July 18, 2005 civil nuclear cooperation understanding between them.

The Communist parties have attacked the nuclear deal on the ground that it will allegedly make India a pawn of the US’ strategic interests and cites the Hyde Act, which contains prescriptive provisions about nuclear testing and the conduct of foreign policy, to buttress their objections to the deal.

Alluding to discussions in the NSG over the last two days in which many sceptical countries like Ireland, Austria, Norway and Switzerland, demanded that non-proliferation conditions be built into the NSG waiver, the party said: “All of these were to ensure that the NSG waiver conformed to the Hyde Act conditions.”

Making a pointed critique of the draft of the proposed NSG waiver, the party contended that it “suggested imposition of several implicit conditions on India like the extension of the voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests to a multilateral undertaking, and acceptance of any future changes in NSG guidelines without having any say at the NSG”.

The draft also seemed to suggest “agreeing to additional protocols in IAEA, embedding the 123 and other agreements in the waiver and constraints on enrichment and reprocessing as well as other dual use technologies by referring to various sections of the guidelines,” the CPI-M said.

“Some of the NSG members have now asked for these conditions to be spelt out explicitly,” the party said in a clear message that it will continue to oppose the nuclear deal right till the end.

India has made it clear that it will not accept “prescriptive conditionalities” in the NSG waiver and underlined that it was seeking a clean waiver from the nuclear trade club. New Delhi has also stressed that it is only bound by the 123 bilateral agreeement and not the Hyde Act, which is US domestic legislation.

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