Will the India-US Nuclear Deal be Signed? Part I
I predict that there is no doubt that the deal will be signed and made operational and that too while Congress is still in power.
However, the road to that is not easy, again at a political level neither Congress nor Left is in a mood to go for elections. Having said this, remember, the Left has nothing to lose if this nuclear deal fails or nothing to win if it goes through. They are in the perfect position to torpedo the boat and they can do that, because like it or not, in general they stick to their anti-Western stance and it's been their pet project, so they can ditch the Government. Taking one step further, they are also afraid that the Government will get support only on this issue from the BJP!
If that happens, they will lose on two counts - one, the deal would go through, and the other, they will have a very tough election to fight, hence they will be cautious to pull the plug, but they will continue to walk from Kolkota and Chennai to Vizag make some noise. Congress will also yield space a little bit, it will listen to the Left, because it does not really like getting into bed with BJP. That will remain its last and very last option.
Renegotiation of the Nuclear deal with the U.S. is still an option but will not be pursued at this stage by this Government in its current form for the simple reason that it will again open the debate on the other side too. This time it will get more difficult to get it passed because of the upcoming US elections. One can ask why cannot the Government stall the whole issue? What is pushing them to get this into operational mode?
The reason is the US push (they definitely want the Congress Government to do their bidding in India) and the economic necessity and election preparation year in 2008. The Congress will take this forward for sure, it will try to address the concerns which at the moment appear to be two major concerns stepping out of the Hyde Act.
1. Right to maintain an independent foreign policy
The U.S. has signed a roughly similar 123 agreement with China and till this day China has been able to pursue independent foreign policy, China goes and sleeps with the corrupt and autocratic dictators in Africa against wishes of US. It perfects the art of copying with utter disregard to US laws and in addition, it continues to send across tainted products to US without inviting any serious rebuke from them, while continuing to receive both the FDI and technology. All the while, China also faces a similar situation as India in terms of energy and in particular N-fuel, yes I can hear someone saying that China is a recognized N-power, so what? The world knows that even Libya and North Korea have technology to split the atoms - that does not translate into helping these countries to get more N fuel to benefit their economies.
China has been able to safeguard its interests by diversifying and venturing into areas where US and Europe appear to have a moral dilemma. International diplomacy will operate on the principle of give and take, if the US asks China to stop supporting the Autocratic rule in Africa, China will veto US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and other areas. We do not have the Veto power and may not be able to threaten US to that extent, but we do have enough production capabilities to arm and support Autocratic rule in Africa, Iran, and Newly-formed ready-to-revolt Central Asian republics who are slowly turning against US forward bases bordering Afghanistan, and most importantly, we could cause uncertainty to 70% of the oil traffic in our backyard. In this commotion, the US would have also noticed India's ability to gain a hard footing as a permanent military base in central Asian republic of Uzbekistan this is the first serious permanent overseas deployment of India to safeguard our interests. The very fact that we managed to get past Pakistan and China and get a hold in a Muslim nation is something of a diplomatic coup.
The best part is we are not making any big deal of it, yes it costs us a finger to maintain that, but this is a price we have to pay to keep the body intact. This is the second instance where India is able to complement its diplomacy with its defense preparedness.
In my assessment, given Indian Democracy, we are condemned to remain and maintain an independent foreign policy. It is not by choice that we want to remain independent, we have shown this over and over. As recently as one year ago, we voted ageist Iran in IAEA and within three months we were shaking hands with the Iranians, discussing the dispute over tariff structures for Iranian gas over Pakistan. We continue to support Myanmar Military Junta against US and European wishes. We love buying junk from Russia, we have no problem with Hugo Chavez, promote economic ties with South American countries who are not in the good books of the U.S., and will be the first to declare a national holiday in mourning the demise of Castro. We will continue to condemn the US occupation of Iraq but not Afghanistan and support the Palestine cause, and finally our Kamal Nath (I love this guy and his commitment towards agricultural tariffs) will browbeat the US and European negotiators at the GATT rounds and he will continue to remain as the leader of the third world countries while the US wants us to pull into the first world.
These are the ways we show our independent foreign policies and there is nothing in the deal which will make us go against them. Continued in Part II.
Will the India-US Nuclear Deal be Signed? Part I
- » Published on October 13, 2007
- » Type: Opinion
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