The Nuclear Deal Is Not Just About Energy Security
The Secretary of the All India Congress Committee, Manish Tewari, writes in Tehelka:
If nuclear energy is going to constitute only 8 percent of our energy mix by the year 2020 and 20 percent by 2050 then why is the UPA prepared to stake its government on the Indo-US nuclear deal? Why do the NDA and the Left find themselves on the same side as Pakistan and China in opposing and expressing reservations on the deal?
The operationalisation of the deal would not take place before the end of 2008 going by even the most optimistic time frame. That is subject to protocols still to be negotiated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and finally a vote by the US Congress. The Hyde Act is only a waiver from the provisions of Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act permitting the US administration to arrive at an agreed bilateral framework with India for cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy.
The nuclear deal raises some vital questions. Is it a step towards energy security or developing a strategic relationship with the US? Does the deal in any manner constrain our strategic autonomy or the pursuit of an independent foreign policy?