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On the India-US Partnership

Radha Surya writes in ZNet:

The announcement in the third week of July of a breakthrough in the last round of negotiations over the Indo-US agreement for civilian nuclear cooperation has dispelled the uncertainty that has attended the fate of the accords since the passage in December 2006 of the Hyde Act that placed stringent conditions on the nature of the nuclear cooperation that would be legally permissible under US law. On the Indian side, hitherto skeptical nuclear scientists have declared their satisfaction with the provisions of the 123 agreement, the bilateral treaty that grants signatories exemption from the provisions of the US Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Nothing it appears stands in the way of the dismantling of the technology and fuel denial that have hampered India’s nuclear industry ever since nuclear tests were conducted in 1974. Ahead stretches a brave new world of nuclear energy generation and relief from chronic power shortages that plague urban and rural India crippling industrial and agricultural productivity and discouraging foreign investment. Votaries of the so-called India-US strategic partnership have stepped forth to hail the successful conclusion of the nuclear agreement. The business advocacy group the United States India Business Council (USIBC) has rejoiced at the progress that has been made on the bilateral 123 agreement. In an opinion piece that ran in the Times of India at the end of July, an influential member of the Indo-US strategic community has called for an end to cold war era tensions between India and the United States and the consummation of the nuclear agreement without further ado. Addressed to decision-makers in Delhi and aptly entitled “Let a new chapter begin,” the article makes no bones over prescribing the steps they must take to cement the “vital” relationship between India and the US.

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