Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I am neither given to exaggeration nor am I known to be self-congratulatory. I will let history judge

August 13, 2007 New Delhi Excerpts from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on August 13 in the Lok Sabha on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation with the United States. This is a preliminary transcript that is yet to be corrected and matched with the official transcription from the Lok Sabha:
I have clearly spelt out the Government’s position in this regard in my statements to Parliament in March and August 2006. I had specially underlined that the pursuit of a foreign policy that is independent in its judgment is a legacy of our founding fathers and an abiding commitment of my Government. India is too large and too important a country to have the independence of its foreign policy taken away by any power.
Today, India stands on the world stage as an influential and respected member of the international community. There is independence in our thought and independence in our actions.
I would like to reiterate that our engagement today with all global powers like US, Russia, China, EU, UK, France, Germany and Japan is unprecedented. Engagement with West, East, South East and Central Asia has been significantly stepped up with visible results. We are building new frontiers in our ties with Africa and Latin America. In South Asia we seek to develop a peaceful environment, one that is conducive to ambitious developmental targets. I urge those who question our commitment to an independent foreign policy to display the same degree of confidence in India, as others from outside do.
Thus, there is no question that we will ever compromise, in any manner, our independent foreign policy. We shall retain our strategic autonomy.
At the same time, we must not forget India’s long-standing commitment to the noble ideas of nuclear disarmament and our refusal to participate in any arms race, including a nuclear arms race. Our commitment to universal, non-discriminatory and total elimination of nuclear weapons remains undiminished. It was this vision of a world free of nuclear weapons which Shri Rajiv Gandhi put before the UN in 1988 and this still has universal resonance.
We remain committed to a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing. We are also committed to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty or FMCT in the Conference on Disarmament. India is willing to join only a non-discriminatory, multilaterally negotiated, and internationally verifiable FMCT, as and when it is concluded in the Conference on Disarmament, subject to it meeting our national security interests.
Despite changes in government and changes in political leadership we have always tempered the exercise of our strategic autonomy with a sense of global responsibility and with a commitment to the ideals of general and complete disarmament, including global nuclear disarmament. This Government believes that our commitment to these ideals and our efforts to realise them must continue, and continue with even greater vigour, now that we are a nuclear weapon state. The possession of nuclear weapons only increases our sense of responsibility and does not diminish it.
Pending global nuclear disarmament, India has maintained an impeccable non-proliferation record. As a responsible nuclear power, India will not be the source of proliferation of sensitive technologies. We stand for the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime as the infirmities in this regime have affected our security interests. We will work together with the international community to advance our common objective of non-proliferation.
There are now other landmarks to cross before the goal of India joining the international mainstream as a full and equal partner becomes a reality. We have to finalise an India-specific Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA. Thereafter, the Nuclear Suppliers Group has to agree, by consensus, to adapt its guidelines, we expect without conditions, to enable nuclear commerce with India and to dismantle the restrictions on the transfer of dual use technologies and items to our country. The US Administration is to secure requisite approval from the US Congress. The completion of these next steps will mark the practical realisation of this initiative…
This historic initiative has received the steadfast support of President Bush and senior members of his Administration. The strengthening and enhancement of our bilateral relations is an objective that has received his unstinting personal support and commitment. This Agreement is a shining example of how far we have progressed.
Finally, Sir, let me end by saying that we have achieved an Agreement that is good for India, and good for the world. I am neither given to exaggeration nor am I known to be self-congratulatory. I will let history judge; I will let posterity judge the value of what we have done through this Agreement. In days to come it will be seen that it is not just the United States but nations across the world that wish to arrive at a new equilibrium in their relations with India. This agreement with the United States will open new doors in capitals across the world. It is another step in our journey to regain our due place in global councils. When future generations look back, they will come to acknowledge the significance of this historic deal. The Hindu

No comments:

Post a Comment