PAPERS LAID ON THE TABLE
SHRI SURESH PACHOURI: Sir, I lay on the Table a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following statements showing the action taken by the Government on the various assurances, promises and undertakings given during the Session shown against each:
1. Statement No. XXXIII Hundred and Eighty-ninth Session, 2000.
2. Statement No. XXXII Hundred and Ninetieth Session, 2000.
3. Statement No. XXV Hundred and Ninety-third Session, 2001.
4. Statement No. XVII Hundred and Ninety-fourth Session, 2001.
5. Statement No. XXII Hundred and Ninety-fifth Session, 2002.
6. Statement No. XVI Hundred and Ninety-seventh Session, 2002.
7. Statement No. XIV Hundred and Ninety-eighth Session, 2003.
8. Statement No. XI Hundred and Ninety-ninth Session, 2003.
9. Statement No. X Two Hundredth Session, 2003.
10. Statement No. IX Two Hundred and second Session, 2004.
11. Statement No. VII Two Hundred and third Session, 2004.
12. Statement No. VI Two Hundred and fourth Session, 2005.
13. Statement No. IV Two Hundred and fifth Session, 2005.
14. Statement No. III Two Hundred and sixth Session, 2005
15. Statement No. II Two Hundred and seventh Session, 2006
16. Ministry wise Status Note of Rajya Sabha pending Assurances, as on 30-6-2006.
SHRI K.H. MUNIAPPA : Sir, I lay on the Table a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following Notifications of the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways (Department of Road Transport and Highways), under section 10 of the National Highways Act, 1956:
(1) S.O. 1123 (E) dated the 18th July, 2006, regarding acquisition of land with or without structure, falling within the stretch from Km. 52.00 to Km. 84.80 (Gwalior-Jhanshi Section) on National Highway No. 75 in the District of Datia, Madhya Pradesh.
(2) S.O. 1124 (E) dated the 18th July, 2006, regarding acquisition of land with or without structure, falling within the stretch from Km. 60.00 to Km. 61.00 (Agra-Gwalior Section) on National Highway No. 3 in the District of Morena, Madhya Pradesh.
MESSAGE FROM LOK SABHA
THE APPROPRIATION (RAILWAYS) NO.4 BILL, 2006
SECRETARY-GENERAL: Sir, I have to report to the House the following message received from the Lok Sabha, signed by the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha:-
" In accordance with the provisions of rule 96 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, I am directed to enclose the Appropriation (Railways) No.4 Bill, 2006, as passed by Lok Sabha at its sitting held on the 11th August, 2006.
2. The Speaker has certified that this Bill is a Money Bill within the meaning of article 110 of the Constitution of India."
Sir, I lay a copy of the Bill on the Table. (Ends)
MOTION FOR ELECTION TO THE SPICES BOARD
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (SHRI JAIRAM RAMESH): Sir, I move the following Motion:
That in pursuance of Clause (b) of Sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Spices Board Act, 1986 (No. 10 of 1986) read with Rules 4(1) (b) and 5 (1) of the Spices Board Rules, 1987, this House do proceed to elect in such manner as the Chairman may direct, one Member from among the Members of the House, to be a member of the Spices Board.
The question was put and the motion was adopted.
MOTION FOR ELECTION TO THE RUBBER BOARD
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY SHRI JAIRAM RAMESH: Sir, I move the following Motion:
That in pursuance of clause (e) of sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Rubber Act, 1947 (24 of 1947) read with sub-rule (1) of Rule 4 of the Rubber Rules, 1955, this House do proceed to elect in such manner as the Chairman may direct, one Member from among the Members of the House to be a member of the Rubber Board.
The question was put and the motion was adopted.
SHORT DURATION DISCUSSION ON INDO-U.S. NUCLEAR DEAL
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (JHARKHAND): Sir, I am grateful to you for fixing a date, though belatedly, for a discussion on this very important issue of national concern. I am also grateful to you, Sir, for having permitted me to initiate this discussion.
Sir, as is well known, our nuclear programme, like our foreign policy, has always been based on a national consensus and, even today, the issue that we are debating in this House is an issue of national importance. I propose to approach this task not in a partisan manner, but in as objective a manner, as fair a manner as possible, and clearly I expect that those who will respond from the Government side will also keep this in mind and respond to our concerns taking this as an issue today of supreme national importance. (Contd. by RG/1O)
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (contd.): Sir, India's nuclear programme, as we are all aware, has been fashioned by our leaders ever since this country became independent. It was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister, and Homi Bhabha, the eminent nuclear scientist, who prepared the three-stage nuclear programme for India. The first was pressurised heavy water reactor; the second part of it was the fast breeder reactor programme; and the third phase is the phase of the thorium programme. And, in all these, our scientists have played a stellar role. The entire technology of the pressurised heavy water reactor, the entire technology of the fast-breeder programme and the entire technology, which is in the process of development in this country, regarding the thorium programme, are based on the research carried out by our scientists. There has been no foreign participation; we have not borrowed technology from anyone. The programme of India is an entirely indigenous programme, and it is a matter of great pride and satisfaction for all of us that it is the scientific capability of Indian scientists which has provided this glory, this satisfaction, to India.
(MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN in the Chair.)
Now, therefore, to talk in the context of this deal of India's nuclear isolation, of the fact that we have been denied technology from abroad, of the fact that we have been handicapped because of the denial regime, I think, is not acceptable to us. We have never been dependent on foreign technology, and let us resolve that we will give the fullest opportunity to our scientists so that this country does not come to depend on foreign technology as far as the nuclear programme is concerned. We are also aware that we have never accepted discrimination. We did not sign the NPT because we were against the discrimination which was built into that Treaty; we raised our voice against that discrimination; we have raised our voice all along in international fora. We are also aware that the 1974 tests, which were conducted, when Shrimati Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister, has led to the creation and the setting up of an entire international nuclear architecture most of which is based on controlling India, keeping India under check. The impetus for that architecture was provided as a result of the 1974 tests, when we defied the world and went for tests. Similarly, when we went for nuclear tests in 1998, we faced a barrage of opposition; we faced the U.S. sanctions in the economic field; we faced sanctions from the various countries of the world. It appeared for a moment as if India was under siege. But resolutely, determinedly and with courage, we faced those challenges, and I am glad to say that we overcame those challenges without submitting before any foreign power or anyone else. Then, our hon. Prime Minister went to the U.S. thirteen months ago in July of last year, and he came back with a nuclear deal. I would like to state, on behalf of my party, that we oppose the Accord of 18th July, 2005 and I have no hesitation in telling this House today that we had opposed this deal from the beginning. We have never been in any doubt about the deleterious impact of this deal and, therefore, we opposed this deal. So, let it not be said that we have changed from our position then, or, ever. Sir, we opposed the deal because we believed that it was meant to cap India's nuclear weapons programme, our strategic programme. (Continued by 1P)
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (CONTD.): Sir, what was the significance of the May 1998 tests, apart from the fact that we declared to the world that we were now a nuclear weapon state, that we came out of the closet? Sir, to my mind, the most important significance of the 1998 tests was that we demonstrated to the rest of the world that India believed in the concept of a strategic autonomy. And, as far as our national security was concerned, we were determined to maintain this at all costs. We have kept that space for ourselves. There is no way in which that space, Sir, can be taken or can be surrendered to anyone else. We also defined our nuclear doctrine in very clear, unambiguous terms. The world today, Sir, is not in doubt about the nuclear doctrine of India, and I am happy to say, I am very satisfied that this Government also has accepted the nuclear doctrine that we enunciated and left behind. What are the three pillars, Sir, of our nuclear doctrine? The first is, 'no-first-use'. It is only like a country like India that can come out with a concept like 'no-first-use'. Then, the second was, we will not use our nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon States. This was also a contribution that India has made to the global lexicon of the nuclear debate that we shall not use our nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon States. And the third part, Sir, of our doctrine was that in case someone did attack us, dare to attack us with nuclear weapons, then, in retaliation, we will use our nuclear weapons, and inflict unacceptable damage on that enemy; unacceptable damage on that enemy. And, this is how the concept of the credible minimum deterrent, Sir, was born. Why have we been talking about the credible minimum deterrent? We have been talking about this because the credibility of our deterrent must be maintained at all costs, at all times. This is something that India cannot surrender to anyone, and this is a judgement which India will make, from time to time, and nobody else will make it on behalf of India. Why did we oppose the July 18 Agreement, Sir? Because we felt that it was going to perpetuate that discrimination against which this country, cutting across political party lines, through all the Governments had opposed internationally all along. Why did we oppose it, Sir? Because the cost of separation -- we were told -- between civilian and military will be enormous. And, I am sorry to say, Sir, that though the Separation Plan was shared by the Prime Minister with this House in March and May, the cost of that separation is something which has not been mentioned ever in this House. The Parliament of India has not been taken into confidence with regard to the cost of this separation. We also opposed it, Sir, because from the very next day, not one week, not one month, not two months later, from the very next day, i.e., 19th of July, 2005, diametrically differing interpretations of the Deal started appearing from the US side. You will recall, Sir, that on the debate which took place in this House, last year, on the 4th August, 2005, our Deputy Leader, Shrimati Sushma Swaraj had participated in that debate. At that time, she quoted the US Deputy Secretary of State, Nicholas Burns who had said within 24 hours of the Deal, and I quote, "What was significant about yesterday's Agreement is that India committed itself in public very specifically to a series of actions to which it had not previously committed itself." (Contd. by kgg/1q)
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (contd.): Actions which will, in effect, in a de facto sense, has India agreeing to the same measures that most of the NPT States have agreed to." She quoted this and she ended her speech by reminding the Prime Minister that the deal that he had entered into would lead to complex interpretations, will lead to different interpretations; and, today, Sir, as we discuss this deal thirteen months down the line, we are aware of all the complexities which have entered this deal.
Sir, I would also like to take the House into confidence, through you, and make, with great humility but with all the force at my command, that this basic reason for this deal that our Government would like us to believe, namely, that it would provide India with nuclear energy and energy security, is fundamentally flawed. It is fundamentally flawed. How can India have energy security on the strength of imported reactor and imported fuel? Would we not be critically dependent on import for that energy security? Has any country based its security concerns or its security considerations on imports from third countries, which are uncertain?
Sir, analysts have compared the cost of producing electricity from various sources. Coal-based thermal power plants costs Rs.4.5 crores per MW; combined cycle gas turbine running on gas or naphtha cost Rs. 3 crores per MW; indigenously built nuclear reactor costs about Rs.7-8 crores per MW; and imported nuclear reactor costs Rs.10 crores per MW. This is the most expensive form of energy for which we are bargaining.
So, at this rate, Sir, 20,000 MWs of additional power by 2020 would need an investment of 2 lakh crores of rupees by this country. Two lakh crores in the next fourteen years! And we are worried about the rising costs of petroleum crude and gas! What about uranium which we propose to import? Uranium prices, Sir, have gone up by 70 per cent in the last one year from US$ 21 to US$ 36 per pound. I would like to quote Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, who in a recent article talked about the energy mix which every country goes for; and, he has said that at any given time, the best qualitative combination of electricity from various sources is something which we should decide about. Indigenous coal, imported coal, hydro-power generation, from national water systems, hydro-power from neighbouring countries, indigenous nuclear programme, based on three-stage programme -- wind, solar and biomass resources. Then he goes on to say, "Even with a renowned economist as Prime Minister as Chairman, his trusted follower as Deputy Chairman, and energy economist as Member-Energy, the Planning Commission has failed totally in initiating such studies or basing their policy pronouncements on the basis of such wisdom. The report of the Expert Committee on Integrated Energy Policy, put out by the Planning Commission in December, 2005, is full of generalities and platitudes for the future and does not address the energy mix or the role of indigenous versus imported energy technologies. So, on what basis is the Prime Minister expounding on the need for 30,000 or 40,000 MWs of nuclear power as an essential element for ensuring energy? Why not a figure like 15,000 MWs or 70,000 MWs? Instead, the Prime Minister's over-enthusiasm for nuclear reactors of the imported kind can only be explained as a deliberated attempt to spread out a welcome mat for foreign nuclear firms to sell their wares in India and to make the questionable case for promoting the nuclear deal." (Contd. By kls/ 1r)
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (CONTD): These are not my words, Sir, these are the words of an eminent scientist that this country has produced. Sir, when this country was developing, it has not developed as much as it has developed today, when we were leading what the eminent thinker Deen Dayal Upadhyayji described as a ship to mouth existence, that the ships loaded with the wheat of PL-480 used to come to our ports and then used to go straight to the mouths of the hungry millions. When we led a ship to mouth existence, India did not bend, no Government at that time bend, no Government accepted anything which was inconsistent with the dignity and the sovereignty of this country. Sir, I will refer only in brief, in passing that the PMO, Sir, came out with a background and I suppose any document which comes out of the Prime Minister's Office is owned or will be owned by the Prime Minister. In that document, Sir, on the 29th July last year, at place after place, after place, after place it has been said in response to imaginary questions that India is going to be recognised as a nuclear weapon State, India will be recognised as a nuclear weapon State. If many of us, Sir, in this country believed in the assertions of the Prime Minister's Office, in that backgrounder, are we to be blamed for misunderstanding the nature of the deal? But I would also hasten to add that at the same time the American officials including their Secretaries before the media, in their speeches before thinktank and in the evidence and testimony before the Congressional Committee repeatedly said that 'our understanding was flawed; they had a completely different understanding of the nuclear deal and its basic objectives, and the divergence between the Indian position and the US position kept on widening day after day.' Sir, we are reading in the media and elsewhere that we will not accept departures from the July 18, 2005 agreement or the statement that the Prime Minister agreed to in Washington. Sir, my case is, forget about departures in the future, the departures have already taken place from 18th July today as we debate it on the 17th August. The departures have taken place. And what are the departures, Sir? We have already accepted a watertight separation plan, which does not apply to nuclear weapons States. We are all aware of the fact that the nuclear States have the flexibility to transfer their facilities from civilian to military whenever national security considerations so demand. Therefore, the question of our being able to do so has been quashed for all times to come. We have accepted safeguards agreement in perpetuity. The safeguards agreement that we are negotiating or we shall negotiate and finalise with the International Atomic Energy Agency is going to bind India in perpetuity. No nuclear State has ever accepted any obligation in perpetuity. The IAEA inspection, Sir, will also naturally be in perpetuity and the reciprocity today, the biggest pillar on which July 18 agreement stood -- reciprocity, non-discrimination -- that stands on its head today. There is no reciprocity and I will demonstrate and others will demonstrate how. Sir, we have been told that if we are entering into obligations in perpetuity, then their obligation is also in perpetuity to supply us fuel. There is a point, which has been repeatedly made. I would like to refer here to the letter which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition had written to the Prime Minister in which he had said that during the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee on April 5, 2006 -- this is a very, very important date -- Senator Feingold put precisely this question to the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
(Contd by 1s)
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (CONTD.): I quote, "You said that the safeguards will be permanent but India emphasised that these permanent safeguards would be dedicated on an uninterrupted supply of fuel for civilian reactors. Now, does that not tie our hands down the road?" This was the question of Senator Feingold and what did Secretary reply. She said and I quote, "We have been very clear with the Indians, that the permanence of the safeguards is permanence of the safeguards." This is testimony of Secretary Rice before their Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is not a piece of paper floating in the winds of Washington. We have been very clear with the Indians that the permanence of the safeguards is permanence of the safeguards without condition. In fact, we reserve the right. Should India test and if it had agreed not to or should India in any way violate the IAEA safeguards agreement which it would be adhering that the deal from our point of view would be at that point be off. This is what she had told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sir, we were told that as a result of the 18th July deal we would get supply for Tarapur. In a separate communication, which was sent to the Prime Minister, because in the last session I had given a notice of breach of privilege, that communication, Sir, was sent to the Prime Minister. A reply was sent to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat and I was favoured with a copy of that reply. I had said clearly that the Americans opposed the supply of low enriched Uranium which came to us from Russia for Tarapur. They opposed, -- much less supporting the supply -- they actually opposed the supply. Where is the 18th July 2005 Agreement? Sir, finally, we have given a separation plan to the Americans and we believe it has been accepted by them. We have made much of the fact, Sir, that our fast breeder programme is not going to be placed under safeguards. But, you read that document. The document which the Prime Minister shared with this House and you will find that immediately after we have said that sentence that we were not going to put our Kalpakkam reactor, a fast breeder reactor before safeguards, we have gone on to say that in future all civilian fast breeder reactor will be put under safeguard. Isn't this a contradiction? The fast breeder programme is Indian technology. Why are we putting it to intrusive IAEA inspection through a safeguard agreement and through an additional protocol? This is an explanation which the Government will have to provide to this House. Sir, the first Waiver Bill which was submitted by the US President to the US Congress in March this year was a three and a half page document. That has swollen to and expanded to a 23 and a half page document, both before the Senate and the House. Why, Sir? It is because a number of conditionalities had been added by both the Committees, both the Houses before they agreed to look at or pass this. What is the reality check, Sir, at this stage? The reality check is, the House of Representatives of the US Congress has passed the Bill. We have the text of the Bill passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Senate, we understand, may consider it in September and pass it. Then, the two Houses will go into conference to reconcile differences, if any, and then, Sir, the US Congress will finally adopt the Bill. Now, we know the House Bill. We know the Senate Bill. The House Bill has been further strengthened in the course of passage because one amendment by one of the Members has been accepted which makes the conditionalities more onerous. The Senate Bill, Sir, from all experience that we have is going to go through the same process and the final product is going to be far more onerous for us than we imagine even at this time. If we want to delude ourselves, if the Government wants to delude itself, if the House wants to delude itself, if the whole nation wants to delude itself, then, therefore, the end product of the US Legislative process is something that we should wait for. Then, I will say, Sir, that that will be not only a futile wait, it will be a dangerous wait because our House, Sir, our Parliament will only meet in November again, towards the third week of November. By then, the deal might be done and we will be left with nothing but fait accompli. So, Sir, whatever caution, whatever precaution has to be taken has to be taken now, unless we decide to bury our head in the sand in the face of the approaching, gathering storm. Sir, today, everyone seems to be protesting. Our scientists have come out; most eminent nuclear scientists of this country have come up with a statement two days ago. Defence analysts are protesting, pointing out the pitfalls. Other knowledgeable people are protesting. Why, Sir? Why are they protesting? It is because we feel that assurances given by the Prime Minister to this House, to the other House, to the people of this country had been completely broken by the Americans. Today, if the Prime Minister of India is at the North Pole, the Americans are in the South Pole.
(Contd. by NBR/1T)
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (CONTD.): This is the difference in the position. I will quickly recount, because I would like to leave enough time for my friend, Mr. Arun Shourie. The Indo-US nuclear deal is about non-proliferation. It is not about nuclear energy. The separation of our facilities between civilian and military has been done at the behest of the US. And, the Congress of the US is going to sit in judgement over that separation plan as and when it is submitted to them. May I ask, what was the need for announcing the closure by 2010 of the Cyrus Experimental Reactor? What was the need to shift the fuel core of Apsara from its present location? Why have you done it, if there is no pressure? Sir, the US, I have already said, actually, opposed the supply of fuel by Russia to Tarapore. The sequencing of various steps, I have said already, stand on its side. India is not going to be recognised as a Nuclear-Weapon State. The deal is going to bind us in perpetuity. There is no exit clause. We are required to identify and declare a date by which we will be willing to stop production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, even unilateral, forget about the FMCT. And, one of the determinations, which the US President required to make, in writing, before the US Congress is this. What does it say? It says, 'The Report shall also include -- (1) An estimate of the previous year of the amount of uranium mined in India; (2) The amount of such uranium that has likely been used or allocated for the production of nuclear explosive devices; (3) The rate of production of (i) fissile material for nuclear explosive devices; and (ii) nuclear explosive devices; and, (4) An analysis as to whether imported uranium has affected such rate of production of nuclear devices.' This is the kind of intrusive, detailed requirement of the US Congress. Not once, but, every year, before the 31st of July, or, by the 31st of July. It is annually. It puts a ban in perpetuity on nuclear testing, which goes even beyond the CTBT. And, I am sure, my other colleagues will explain how it goes beyond the CTBT. The deal is entirely one-sided. As I have already mentioned, even the supply of fuel in perpetuity is not assured. It does not assure full civilian nuclear cooperation.
Sir, what are the symbols of our sovereignty which are housed here in this Parliament? To my mind, the most important symbols of our sovereignty are: (1) Our Foreign Policy, the autonomy of our Foreign Policy; and (2) The autonomy of our nuclear programme. And, today, these two symbols of our sovereignty are under threat. (Contd. By 1U)
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (CONTD.): I would like to appeal humbly to the House, through you, that knowing a stage that has been reached, shall we swallow this; shall we submit ourselves to this? The Parliament of India does not enjoy the powers of the US Congress, we are all aware of this. But still the Parliament of India is the seat of our sovereignty. Does the Parliament of India not have the need even to be briefed properly? Who has briefed the Parliament of India? Has any Parliamentary Committee been briefed about this deal? Sir, whatever information we have got, has been information coming to us from the US. Very surprising! Our Government has been very, very miserly in sharing information with this House or with the people of our country. It cannot be anybody's case that those who happen to sit in the Government today have all the wisdom and that this Parliament has none of it. And, I would like to quote here what Henry Hyde, who is the Chairman of the House Committee, had to say when he put up this Bill before the Committee. He said, "Over the course of the past several months, the Committee had held five hearings. Benefited from the counsel of a scores of experts, across the country, had numerous briefings by administration of issues and conducted extensive research, notably with the assistance of the Congressional Research Service." We go to our library; we go to our reference service; and we get extracts from newspapers. That is what a Member of Parliament of India gets. No assistance; no briefing, nothing. This is how the Parliament of India has been treated so far. We have had a couple of discussions. But the point is: is that enough? Mr. Henry Hyde goes on to say, "This new Bill is based upon the Administration's original proposal, but has been amended with several significant changes, the most prominent of which concerns the role of the Congress. HR5682, which refers to the Bill, changes the process by which the Congress will consider and pass judgement, consider and pass judgement, on a negotiated agreement regarding civil nuclear cooperation with India. To further strengthen the role of the Congress, a number of reporting requirements and other consultative measures have been added. A sense of Congress - 'sense of Parliament' is a dirty expression, let us not use it -- but a sense of the Congress section has been added that lays out conditions regarding when Civil Nuclear Cooperation with other countries may be in order. In addition, there is a statement of policy section that clarifies the US policy in a number of areas, in particular the Nuclear Supplies Group, the interpretation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and a series of goals regarding India and South Asia." Sir, as far as we are concerned -- in the Bharatiya Janata Party, in the NDA -- we are not against building strategic and friendly ties with the US, let me make it very clear. But such ties must rest on the firm foundation of sovereignty, equality, reciprocity and mutual respect. They cannot be built on the shaky foundations of a patron client relationship. The manner in which we voted in the IAEA -- not once, but twice -- in the case of Iran confirms this suspicion. Now, the Bill calls upon the US President, and I quote, "To secure India's full and active participation in US efforts to dissuade, isolate and, if necessary, sanction and contain Iran for its efforts to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction." This is the clarion call of the US Congress to the Indian Government, so that when the US says, "Go to war with Iran", we will go to war with Iran; US says, "Send your forces to Iran", we will send our forces to Iran, because our responsibility is to contain and sanction Iran against Weapons of Mass Destruction. Why are the 'non-proliferation Ayotollahs' in Washington quiet? They have not criticised the two Bills. They have not criticised because the Congress has met all their requirements. All that they wanted this deal to have has been incorporated in the two Bills. It is unprecedented even in the US history that a legislation has been adopted which targets just one country, and that one country is India. India must not accept these crippling conditionalities. (Contd. by 1w)
SHRI YASHWANT SINHA (CONTD.): Therefore, what is our bottom line? Our bottom line is: (a) It must involve full Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India; (b) it must accord India the same rights and benefits as other nuclear weapon States; (c) under it, India will undertake only such obligations as adopted by other nuclear weapon States; (d) at any stage, Indian actions will only be reciprocal; and (e) India will accept international inspections on its civil facilities or any other binding obligation only after, as the Prime Minister had said on July, 2005 -- I quote him -- 'all restrictions on India have been lifted'. In addition, we demand that any Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement must provide for uninterrupted and unconditional supply of nuclear fuel to India; a permanent waiver of relevant US domestic laws without annual review and certifications; IA inspections of our civil nuclear facilities only as long as the deal holds; complete freedom to India's strategic and foreign policy options; and an explicitly stated right of India to terminate the agreement on national security grounds. Sir, these are the basic benchmarks to which we must adhere. If these are not adhered to, if these are violated, I have no hesitation in saying, on behalf of the party that I represent, in this House, that such a deal cannot bind India in future.
I have already said that some of our nuclear scientists have spoken against the deal. We read in the media that the Prime Minister was going to call them, meet with them. Then, we read that he is not going to call them. He is consulting the in-house scientific talent that he has. We must heed their advice. Their advice should not be taken lightly. We have been demanding in this House that we must have a sense of Indian Parliament Resolution. That is something that we have been demanding across party lines, across party lines. We must have such a resolution. And, I will go a step forward today and say that we must have a Joint Parliamentary Committee of the two Houses of Parliament which shall oversee the implementation of that Resolution. Nothing less than that is going to satisfy the Parliament of India. The time has come for the Parliament of India to assert itself. We cannot remain mere mute spectators in the light of the developments which have taken place across the seven seas. India cannot bend to the will of the US Congress. And, it is this Parliament which has to assert that India will not bend. Under no circumstances shall India bend to the will of Members of the US Congress. And, that is the message which should go loud and clear from this debate in this House, and let struggle across the seven seas and let the US be warned that the Parliament of India thinks otherwise and let them stop in their tracks and stop putting those humiliating crippling conditionalities on a country like India. Thank you very much, Sir. (Ends)
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Anand Sharma.
DR. BIMAL JALAN (NOMINATED): May I seek a clarification on a factual point, Sir?
MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No; no. You can seek later on when you speak.
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (SHRI ANAND SHARMA): Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, the debate which this House is having on Indo-US Civil Nuclear Cooperation is not being watched with great interest by the people of this country, but this debate has attracted the attention even outside the shores of India.
A debate in Parliament on any issue which is of critical import for the country is the very essence of democracy. (Contd. by 1 x -- VP)
SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): Parliament has a right, I agree with Shri Yashwant Sinhaji, to be kept informed. Parliament has a right to discuss and Parliament has a right to advise. That is our Constitutional system. In a system of Parliamentary democracy, it is the Parliament which is supreme, and it is the Government which is accountable to Parliament. Sir, the words of wisdom of Shri Yashwant Sinhaji -- I agree that we have not gained sudden wisdom by coming to this side and, surely, you have also not gained new wisdom by going to the other side -- unfortunately, did not demonstrate when he was sitting here. Sir, the UPA Government has a very transparent approach. It respects the institution of Parliament and nothing more can underscore this but the fact that in the last 13 months, it is the third time this august House is discussing this subject. It was discussed last July. It was discussed in March, and it is being discussed again in August. What more proof of respect for Parliament can there be? What Yashwant Sinha has said, I want to deal with it towards the end, but it prompts that they were not getting any information, the Parliament was being kept out, and, sometimes, some meagre information was given, the rest they got from outside sources. It is this Government and this Prime Minister who have shown utmost respect to the institution of Parliament by giving all information, by laying ..(Interruptions).. No interruptions, it is a gentleman's opinion.
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SHRI ANAND SHARMA: May I ask my friend Yashwant Sinhaji.. ..(Interruptions)..
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SHRI ANAND SHARMA: Why I say so is this. As Shri Yashwant Sinha was saying this is a national issue. I also do not want to give an impression that it is a partisan issue. Such decisions, such policies have to be backed by broad national consensus. There has to be an understanding within the country and within this Parliament. But if what was said here was a genuine concern about the institution of Parliament, I would have respected my dear friend, Yashwant Sinhaji. He had the privilege of serving as a Cabinet Minister, both as a Foreign Minister and as a Finance Minister. At that time, for almost one year there were talks between the then Foreign Minister; the hon. Leader of Opposition, and Strobe Talbott. Sir, let alone this country; this Parliament was never informed and Parliament was kept in dark. Had you protested and demanded that they should inform the country what they were discussing, then, I would have saluted you. But you did not. That was political expediency. Today you have presented a very powerful case and painted a gloomy picture as if India's independence, India's integrity and sovereignty were being sold and compromised. What twisted logics you have given! We had to wait for Strobe Talbott to write a book to get to know what was conveyed. The offer to sign the CTBT was made without informing the people of the country and without informing the Parliament. I do not know how many of the Cabinet Ministers and the Cabinet Committee on Security, at that time, was kept in picture when these offers were made. Shri Yashwant Sinhaji was also talking about the detonation, the U.S. laws, the proposed legislation and that if there is any detonation which takes place or if India were to detonate, the nuclear cooperation would cease. I will deal with that in great detail later. I do intend to do that. But, let me share with this House something which is very interesting. Shri Yashwant Sinha was referring to the May 1998 Test. (Contd. By PK/1Y)
SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): Subsequent to that was the unilateral voluntary moratorium declared by the then NDA Government, Sir. Because you were talking about the great achievement, how you protected India's independence, how you braved the sanctions, but you did not bow, thereby implying that this Prime Minister, this Government is bending, bowing and compromising. Nothing could be farther from truth, Sir. Sir, I will take you to September 1998, the UN General Assembly Session where our the then hon. Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, while addressing the UN General Assembly said, and I quote from his speech: "Accordingly, after concluding this limited testing programme, India announced a voluntary moratorium on further underground nuclear test explosions. We conveyed our willingness to move forward to a de jure formalisation of this obligation. In announcing the moratorium, India has already accepted the basic obligation of the CTBT." This is the statement of the then Prime Minister, and I have great regards for him. Yashwant Sinhaji was there in the Cabinet Committee on Security. As I said earlier, Sir, you would have risen in my admiration Yashwantji had you questioned Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji for making this statement without informing Parliament, without taking the Parliament into confidence. And, today, we are listening about Parliament being ignored when the third debate in 13 months is taking place. I am appalled.
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SHRI ANAND SHARMA: Sir, as I said, this Government has a transparent approach. What we are saying is, the larger issue before this House is that why we are having this discussion. It is clear that it is a follow up of the July 18, the understanding on full civilian nuclear cooperation between India and the United States of America. The ongoing legislative process in the United States Congress which was referred to by Yashwant Sinhaji, which is one of the reciprocal conditions contained in the July 18 statement and understanding; and also, Sir, our negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency for India-specific safeguards; there is criticism, there are misgivings, and there are concerns and doubts. One, because the ongoing legislative process and what is being stated by a Senator and by a Member of the House of Representatives are included or suggested for inclusion in what is merely an exhortation or a statement or policy, an impression is sought to be created that these are the new conditions which have been imposed; India has been shackled' and the Government has accepted the shifting of the goalposts and new obligations and conditions. Sir, for the benefit of all the hon. Members, let me say that the United States of America and India, we both are democracies, two of the largest democracies in this world today. We have a different system. The legislative process in the US Congress is different from the legislative process in the Indian Parliament. (Contd. by 1Z/PB)
SHRI ANAND SHARMA (CONTD.): There, the House of Representatives has its own version of the Bill -- the title also is different, the objective would be the same -- and the Senate has its own version. The House of Representatives has passed the Bill, the Senate is yet to pass; and then the process of conciliation will be there. That is the requirement of the US Congress which will empower the US Administration and the President with the waiver authority of India-specific, permitting them to enter into a bilateral agreement on civilian-nuclear energy cooperation. Sir, Senate is yet to pass it. After that, the conciliation is to take place. Then, we will look at what is the final product. And, then, the Agreement under 123 will be there. The question is, why is this legislative process? It is because as per the July 18 understanding, certain reciprocal steps had to be taken. The US had to amend its laws, because their legislation does not permit cooperation with any country which does not have foolproof safeguards, all the facilities under safeguards, a country which is outside the NPT, a country which has detonated, a country which has a dedicated military nuclear programme. What is envisaged there, Sir, is a full civilian nuclear cooperation with India accepting the fact that India has a dedicated military nuclear programme. That is the implicit recognition when we talk of the separation plan to which India has committed itself, separating the civilian and the nuclear facilities and retaining the integrity, the autonomy of a strategic nuclear programme.
Sir, after the waiver authority is there, the US Administration and the President then will be empowered. That would be the time of an agreement for this bilateral cooperation under 123 Agreement. Regarding the 123 Agreement, Yashwant Sinhaji knows everything. Sir, our Prime Minister, our Government had made a categorical assurance that whatever agreement India will sign will be within the templates of July 18. In this House two weeks ago, Sir, the Prime Minister had made it abundantly clear that India will not accept any additional obligation or conditionality. And, if I may say so, if the concerns are there -- what concerns were being referred to by the nuclear establishment, by other people -- they are bona fide concerns also, the concerns our hon. Prime Minister also has; and the Prime Minister has unambiguously and firmly conveyed those concerns even to the US President, Mr. Bush, in St. Petersburg very recently, and our officials in their meetings have also made it abundantly clear what India's position is. Sir, we can be faulted if we had conveyed even remotely an impression that India is prepared to accept any additional conditionality or obligation. We have not. We can be faulted, Sir, if we have inked an agreement where India's interests have been compromised. We have not. No legislation of any Parliament, with due respect, is binding on this country. India will be bound only by the agreement which India, as a sovereign nation State, will sign. Sir, we have reached a stage almost after six decades where India is acknowledged as a country with advanced nuclear technology, a country whose scientists have made India proud by mastering the fuel cycle. Our scientists who worked under very difficult circumstances in a regime of denial and discrimination which is rightly termed as 'nuclear apartheid'. (Contd. by 2a/SKC)