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US Nuclear Pact with India

05 March, 2006

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Some Congress members say the deal will exacerbate the threat of nuclear arms proliferation, but the president disagreed.

During a discussion with entrepreneurs in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, he said India has been "an excellent partner in non-proliferation over the past decades". "Therefore, I can tell the American people that this is an important agreement to help deal with the proliferation issue.

However, the Bush administration does not find Pakistan fit for same kind of agreement. US Secretary of State Codaleezza Rice says though, Pakistan is one of the most important allies of America in war on terror, however a civil nuclear agreement with it is not possible at the moment.


1) Do you agree with a contention that India-US nuclear agreement is against China?

2) Will this agreement destablise the balance of power in South Asia?

3) What should be the mildest reaction of Pakistan to American attitude?

4) Do you agree with Ms Rice’s statement that Pakistan is not fit for such agreement?

Reader Comments:

The only advantage...

whatever is going on..the only advantage I see is ..India will have to act as a peaceful country with the countries it share the border to enjoy the real result of Us/India deal.So Pakistan, Srilanka will feel some comfort too, for a better economy India can't afford to have any kind of tension on its border..So lets all hope a beast turning into a teddy bear..amen

Hasan, Pakistan - 24 March, 2006

This message is for Mr. Mantra: I do understand where you coming from, however, whatever you mentioned in your lengthy column is not absolutely true. You may write what you wish to just like others but one ought to know facts on ground. It is clearly a bias statement and pointing out Pakistan a “corrupt country” is nonsense and unethical. We do have corrupt politicians so as India, in fact, politicians in India are most corrupt and illiterate. With the respect of democracy, I do not support dictatorship, I believe in democracy more than anyone else on this planet and I also believe that there should be no place for corrupt politicians or people in any society. Mr. Mantra, I do not know whether you have knowledge about the 25 to 30 percent Indian population, who are considered low class citizens and are not allowed to voice their opinion or participate in political and government affairs. They only clean toilets and cannot join government or private schools. They cannot socialize with upper class Hindus. Mr. Mantra you are lucky enough not to be from low cast. What is this? Do you call it democracy? If so, than you define it incorrectly.
Democracy is for the people, by the people and from the people. Although, we do not have an elected president in Pakistan but there is enough freedom and equality for all.
The nuclear deal is certainly essential in order to meet growing energy demands. It is not directed against any country, many developing countries need that technology. Which is why Pakistan has shown courage and dignity by opposing it. But the funny part is, when Pakistan became non-NATO ally, India could not handle. Beyond that it is strange to compare India to China or Pakistan to whatever. Every country is unique and different. But one thing is certain, in that part of the World, it is not wise to think that one country is stronger than other because they all are sitting with dangerous weapons.
Mr. Mantra, it is vital to have strong economy, we do want to see all our neighbors including India and Afghanistan, economically strong and stable. As you know there is lot of poverty in South East Asia. According to the World Bank, about 600 million people live below poverty line in South East Asia. Therefore, it is foolish to think that a country with 1.1 billion population is economic power. In India about 30 percent people are living below poverty.
But to be honest I do wish that these countries must grow so that poor people can earn their living easily and respectfully. This is the time for people to win because they are suffering the most not corrupt politicians.
The last point, today's Pakistan is much stronger and stable than yesterday, and we do hope and expect a better Pakistan for tomorrow.

zulfiqar Tanoli, United Kingdom - 24 March, 2006

Democracy key to success in long run

India and Pakisan both commenced their journey at same time in 1947 , but on took different routes.Pakistan chose to be Islamic state. While India chose to be Secular,Democratic nation with equal rights to all creeds, caste, sex, religion, race etc. History has proved in India and elsewhere that Democracy creates less tension among people. Power of Ballot , has been in full display during many parlimentary and other local elections in India.People of India has been free to elect its nomination and throw out the incumbent in peaceful and civilised manner. In the long run,Democracy allows people to have relief valve and lets them move ahead. India would always like to see strong independent and trust worthy Pakistan as its neighbour. No one in India would like to see Pakistan in turmoil, as this causes disturbances in India and shifts focus in India from development to retrogade steps...!

Sanjay, Hungary - 24 March, 2006

Zulfiqar Tanoli - don't peddle lies

This message is for Zulfiqar Tanoli. I donot know how you can peddle such lies for India as quoted from your comment.

"I do not know whether you have knowledge about the 25 to 30 percent Indian population, who are considered low class citizens and are not allowed to voice their opinion or participate in political and government affairs. They only clean toilets and cannot join government or private schools. They cannot socialize with upper class Hindus."

If you are aware, what you are alleging was already banned by law at independence with severe punishment. we have two ex presidents Jail SIngh and KR Narayan who belong to the group you are talking about. There are at least 30% Member of Parliament from so called low class citizens and all govt enterprise have around 28% quota for so called low class citizens.

Practices of multiple centuries cannot be eradicated overnight. yet we have done major progress in last 50 years. we will see more progress as economic prosperities results in increased social mobility.

If you know anything about Indian elections mostly so called low class people and muslims vote. the so called high class / middle class voters don't take the trouble of voting.

Chan, United Kingdom - 26 March, 2006

I strongely agree with Tanoli, because majority of indian do not like Pakistan at all. I just want to let Mr. Mantra know that politically, economically and socially pakistan is growing day by day. I do see Pakistan a strong nation and an important country for amny reasons.
If you copmare Pakistan and India, you will a clear difference between people these two countries. Life standard in pakistan is much better than India. Indian budget is about 104 billion US dollar and Pakistan is at 18 billion US dollar, if you do the math: 104 divided by 1.2 billions
and 18 divided by 150 millions population.... you will have a clear idea which country is spending more on social sector.

uzma khan, United Arab Emirates - 26 March, 2006

Hey zulfi
Get your facts right.
Yes, there is disgusting poverty in India and there is rampant corruption. We dont deny it. But there has been a considerable reduction in it. Don't forget we are one of the few countries to be succesfull in reducing poverty by considerable margins. 26% is the correct figure.
As far corruption goes, we are considered less corrupt than you. Just look at the list of corrupt countries in the world.
As far as caste system goes, it is not rigid as it used to be. We are getting over it. just look at the present scenario. People from the lower castes dominate the politics.

Cyrus, Hungary - 26 March, 2006

Secular and Democratic India

India's democracy has helped India to develop at its own pace, carrying people with it. Even in today's UPA govt , Left has got tempering effect on the galloping privatisation programmes of right centre Congress. Left represents a sizeable constituency , which are not in favour of privatisation but wants greaters State role in development. This kind of tempering may be frustrating for market in India and abroad..but thats the way India is. Others will have to accept India as it is. And world has begun to appreciate this dichotomies within political spectrum of India. Inspite of coalition govt, India's ecoomy refuses to slow down. Hence, Democracy will bring sustainable development in the long run.
Same is the case with Secular credentials of India. Muslims who are second largest religious grp in India are free to practice their religion without any check. They are free to have Musim Personal laws, Madrassas, build mosques, perform prayers as many times they want in Public places without any restraints, carry out protests freely agaisnt US President ( even though Bush was presenting India with Nuclear Deal favouring India)...!! Even liberal societies like USA, France, Britain does not give so many untamed liberties to Muslims. Even Hindus dont have such liberties in Pakistan. These liberties are avaialble to other religions like Christians , Jews also. These secular , tolerant ,plural fabric of India, which is more than 5000 yrs old ,is one more reason for sustainable development and key for future growth .

Sanjay, Hungary - 27 March, 2006


Well Mr. Zulfiqar Tanoli, I think that you need you realise that much of what you say is untrue: The 25-30 percent of people who are considered "low-class" statement is absolutely false (As said below by Chan from the USA). How can you sit there are say those kind of ignorant things even though Chan has given you such data, and everyone knows that members of this so-called "lower class" have served as India's presidents, and are among the most powerful people in the nation?

But another issue is that you have the nerve to look me in the eye and tell me that India is more corrupt than Pakistan? Why do you insult my intelligence? I look at the yearly UN ratings, I have access to the media in the democratic nation in which I live. I know for a fact (and I can back it up with so many sources it'll make your head spin) that Pakistan is a MUCH more corrupt nation than India.

And what does illiteracy have to do with anything? How does that make them worse as people or leaders? How does that impede on democracy? George Bush flunked every class he had, that doesn't change anything. At least in India, the very top teir is extremely educated (President Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; both of whom are phDs).

And if it's literacy you want to talk about we can play that game too. Just compare the literacy rates. Then take into account that India once had an illiteracy rate above 90 percent. Talk about growth?

"in Pakistan but there is enough freedom and equality for all."
- Hah, human rights groups tend to differ...

And for your information, no developing country needs the fuel as much as India. India is currently in a power crisis. Factor in massive economic growth and a huge, growing population and what do you get?

The reason India was angered when pakistan became a non-NATO ally was because India had received absolutely no heads up whatsoever. pakistan however, had knowledge of this deal for many months now. Also, India hasn't been carrying out terroristic activities in pakistan like pakistan was doing so to India, so India actually had legitimacy.

Yeah well no kidding, population alone isn't economic power. But are you blind to everything that's going on in India? Things are advancing so fast that if India were to slow down to Pakistan or the USA's growth pace, it would feel like an economic recession.

I too would like a better Pakistan. Now the only issue is to decide what exactly is a better Pakistan? Infact now that I think about it, maybe I'd feel less safe if Pakistan had more money to carry out cross border...activities, if you know what I'm saying.

Naman Mantra, United Kingdom - 30 March, 2006

Better per capita income

With all due respect i would like to address this post to Ms Uzma Khan. Your support for Mr Tanoli has fallen flat with all the proof provided which are contradictory to his comments. Another aspect of the 'low class' citizens having much more political and educational rights than the normal middle or upper class men as they are provided with reservations in not only government but also high quality private institutions throughout the nation. Also your claim that Pakistan is growing day by day is true and i will not deny it but if you see India has much concern for social welfare of the masses, and your claim that India does not care for its masses is absolutely false. The Indian government is now taking more interest in the welfare of the masses than ever before and as far as Pakistan having more expendible money for social welfare programs is absolutely irrevelant. Individual welfare is greater in India than Pakistan even though we have a much greater population. The population factor that so many Pakistanis use as the cause of Indian growth and that they use to justify why India is so much ahead of Pakistan presently. But considering all these factors true even then the per capita income of Pakistan is $1,000 lower than India's. (The total GDP divided by the population) Despite India having a population of millions more than Pakistan does how does its GDP per capita exceed that of Pakistan's. So take this into consideration also when talking about India's population being the real cause of India's growth.

Purang Mehta, Hungary - 01 April, 2006

Nuke PP or Electricity Monopoly

India has Nuke Energy Power Plant.India has Coal fired Power
Plant .LNG/OIL based, Hydro Electrictric Based Power Plant.

Bush Nuclear deal seem directly related to Massive Electricity
Technology keeping to themselves programme.

If they impart power blackout and transmission line Knock out
In Pakistan Balochistan NW frontier AJK and even Iran with
Double crossing to retain oilfield and electricity supply transmission
Line car mfg truck mfg LNG rickshaw mfg /sales line to themselves
Pakistan will Be knocked out from development Umma will be
Beaten by allied conspiracy via anti progress anti war move.

For this they are designing anti war protest approach not letting
Muslim nation go for war of jihad to evict illicit entrants from the

To avoid this. Pakistan should build military bases with civilian
Settlement everywhere in such a way that it can do R&D on subversion.
It can block escape route of miscreants. It can study how to evict
Foreign soldiers who have entered into Afghanistan Iraq and do not
Want to leave.

For smaller population smaller power plants will be fine. If one is
Disrupted supply from another .Do not waste money in Wrong
Projects. Balance of opinion is a must.

benz m Isphahani, India - 01 April, 2006

time will tell

I must say that Usa, Russia, France, Uk, China, they like mobs, Israel is bad boy of usa. they can do anything. the reason i see Usa interest to nuclear treaty with india, where they don't loose anything but scaring china. I think what is going on in this world is now the supremacy of these five big mobs are going to be deminished. Islam should not be a political agenda for any islamic country. there are few islamic people in low number for their own political gain destroy the image of islam. I think whatever happen 9/11 will create a new understanding of islam among the islamic nations as well as the other non islamic nations. jewish controlling the media throughout the world , their propoganda against nazi and germany turned out to be the great success. and now the small number of muslims, due to their media destroying the image of islam. but this will create a good affect this time for the true teaching of islam. sunni shiat have destroyed themself in the past due to Saudi policies. I can see how easy we can be manipulated by others. we all muslim are going to be united after iran will acquire nuclear capability. I think usa also very confused as what they wanted in iraq, the purpose was to steal oil and leave but they got stuck in the war that if they leave right now the people of usa will know the true reason of their invading iraq. but on the other hand muslim political approach to all the problem for muslim still rotate towards the issue of sunnis and shia. muslims nations are quite and watching europe america growth and now India why Usa will support a muslim nation to be a nuclear power. now it cannot be undone, but we have a uphill task in front of us if we will not united we will break again, so whatever political parties are doing now, they should get united and work for one pakistan, which is now overdue and forth comming. there are not many in pakistan who would really understand the present political situation of pakistan. I think the first approach is to be united, secondly Usa will support us because pakistan is going to be turning out to be a moderate islamic country, due to his nuclear capability other muslim states will adopt the same moderation. you can feel the pain of all the muslim ulmas and mowlanas, who are frustraited with the president of pakistan of not giving them the same voice as other past government of nawab sharif and bai-nazir and even zia ul haq had given. this mulas and ulamas should do one thing leave politics and create a standard of islamic idealogy, work together to create not one but many islamic universities where all the poeple take part in the research for true study of islamic culture and education. Past which have given no true meaning to islam, these people restore the image of islam. sorry to say oil and pilgrimage income have blind folded saudis, sense of responsibility and participation in the area for the development of true islamic idealogy. Pakistan will be the only islamic country will emerge as a true representative of Islam. Inshallah, time will tell

Aslam Sheikh, Pakistan - 02 April, 2006

hey this looks more like a slanging match, trying to prove one country is better than the other, mostly by people away from the shores of these countries.
look at the facts, both countries have their pet formulas. pakistan has this suicidal wish to control kashmir at all costs and india is equally suicidal in not allowing it. pakistaan still smarts under the loss of bangladesh and wants to do the same to india via kashmir, and india is hell bent on preventing it at all costs.
where does all this lead.
is just drawing on the map a line, a little different matter so much. is it worth the slaughter of innocent people.
muslims in kashmir is treated just as muslims anywhere else in india.they get killed only when they cause trouble.for that matter it is the same for hindus and christians and sikhs. barring a few exceptions the indian police or army deal these problems in a pretty identical way. kashmiris got killed because they took to arms for their cause. the same happened in assam punjab and with the gorkhas in darjeeling. but whatever you may say about the indian state, it never abandons its subjects. they can stage an armed protest, but the state will stand up for a prolonged fight. because it is a matter of survival. we are poor, we are 1.2 billions but we dont want to lose a single one of that billions. if we allow that, then the idea of india dies.we become a land without a soul.
outside forces can try they can attack us but to fight back for our idea is our right.after independence india had never fired the first shot against any country. we had only retaliated.we never occuppied any territory of others. indian army left bangladesh at the earliest oppurtunity. in 1965 indian army had reached sialkot, but soon after war it retreated.our interests are elsewhere. we are a poor nation we have a lot of injustice corruption and in many occasions things can be very bad. but that does not mean that the whole of india is cesspool. we have our good points also as any society we are also a mixture of good and bad.we dont want to harm your proud nation. we want a strong responsible pakistan. a pakistan that weilds its weapons and power sensibily. not a pakistan that is a global exporter of terror a land hated by the rest of the world, but a land where i can send my small daughter alone and she will come back and say papa that was a nice place with nice people.

anil b das, Hungary - 03 April, 2006

Cheap Talk…
Mr. Mantra, you talk too cheap therefore, it will be an insult to respond you.

Zulfiqar Tanoli, United Kingdom - 04 April, 2006

Hello there,
I am really surprised about the Indian writer's reactions. Mr. Tanoli's respond was very effective and accurate which is why fifteen Indian writers reacted in a strange manner.
Before October 2005, I did not know much about Pakistan. I used to hear through media that Pakistan is a corrupt, poor and extremist country. But I traveled to Pakistan in October 05, to help earthquake victims. I was working for UNO and besides helping earthquake victims I spent some time studying Pakistan. What really Pakistan is?
I find Pakistan interesting in many ways, people are hospital, food is great and I never faced any problem such as security or safety. I traveled to Karachi and Lahore and saw people spending, nice restaurants, modern shopping centers and expensive cars. In fact, I went to stadium to watch a cricket match. It was fun being there with passionate and happy people. Although, we were losing game but sprit was there. Anyway, what I really mean, Pakistan is a liberal, free and happy land. Sure there are some issues but almost every country is facing issues in this day and age.
Folks, India and Pakistan are not compatible because they do not like each other. Nuclear deal is not a big deal, I don't think Pakistan is worried about that because she has nuclear capability and I believe Pakistan is a true leader or Muslims world. At this point Pakistanis must act with great responsibility and bring a change in Muslim world by using “modernization strategy” and I think Musharraf can do this job this job.

John Melad, Netherlands - 04 April, 2006

Naman Mantra, let me offer you an advice, why don't you go to school not an Indian but an American so that you can learn some manners and learn how to interact or discuss high politics. Tanoli's respond was simply based on your baseless accusations but it was too much for you to handle.
You are accusing Pakistan for this and that but deep in your heart you know that although, Pakistan is a small country but it has huge military and economic power. Your comments about having more money is dangerous for India, guess what you leave in fear and biggest fear is fear itself. Pakistan is peaceful and progressive country and people are great, they are in complex, they have open and big hearts. If you declare India that strong, good for you, but you certainly, know about Pakistan' strength too. So, think before you speak.
Tahir Faisal

tahir faisal, United Arab Emirates - 04 April, 2006

Grow up !

India and Pakistan have had a long and chequered history and it makes people spiteful occasionally on both sides of the border but essentially, you agree or not, we share a common heritage.
There is a lot of misinformation on both sides about the other.

Regarding the comments made by people about democracy and freedom , I would say this, Both India and Pakistan have their problems. Sure India has a lot of ills. Its a land of more than a billion and it has had its independence and freedom for all of 60 years now !! Same with Pakistan. The important thing is that there is the will to change. there is the will to move forward and I think the drive IS their in the citizenry of both the countries to progress. I think the animosity between India and Pakistan has a lot to do also with the economic situation in both countries...

I am no expert on Pakistan but I can defend India by saying this.
It is a vengeful over generalisation to categorise a whole billion strong country as evil corrupt discriminatory or genocidal because nasty incidents happen.
It is very convenient to look for ugly details in the history of a country and to castigate them for that. When you do that, you contribute to inflamming passions in people and inciting hatred and these do not help anyone. These acts only spread the hatred.
Just as you insist that there is a little ugliness in your country, accept that it is the same case with your neighbour.

If you cringe when people point to random incidents or to a small section of your populace to denigrate the whole people, Know, that you are pretty much doing the same.
For Every godhra incident in India there is East Pakistan 1950. For every Babri MAsjid incident there is the fact that Hindu population in Pakistan has dwindled from 20 % to 2 % in the last 50 years.

Mr. American who travelled to Pakistan, I am sure if you came to India , you will find plenty to be proud of the world you live in, in India too.

Vijit Jain, Pakistan - 04 April, 2006

First off, I'd like to apoligize to anyone whom I may have offended. When I argue, I argue. I don't hide behind big and polite words and try to make myself seem "above" others by pretending that I'm more rationally-minded than others. But of course, others here seem to think differently, and I'm willing to accept that.

What's really funny is that none of them responded to any of the points I made, because everything I said was true. Either I'm 100 percent correct, or they are simply "too good" to answer. I think we can all make this simple call. Avoidance is often a good way to admit defeat without actually admitting it.

Now Mr. Melad, if you think Pakistan is liberal, and free-minded, and all that (and I'm sure in certain cities it is - that I do not doubt), then you would be amazed to see India. I'm not going to sit here and tell you about it, because you too have access to information on the web and you will reach the same conclusion if you were to ever look things up

Mr. Sheikh, there were just a couple of things I had to say. First off the media in the world's largest democracy is not controlled by Jewish parties, so I'm not sure it would be accurate to say that the "jewish [are] controlling the media throughout the world". As for Pakistan becoming the true representative of Islam, I'd have to disagree. India has more Muslims than Pakistan, and they are mattering more on a worldwide scale. Azim Premji, the richest Muslim man in the world who isn't royalty, is Indian. Sania Mirza, one of the best female Muslim tennis players, is another Indian. Muslims dominate Bollywood, which is popular throughout Central Asia, South Asia, Africa, and is expanding to new locations now (North America, East Asia, Europe). They are found in every teir of Indian life, and when India reaches new heights (I estimate 20-30 years), then they will represent Islam to the rest of the world.

Naman Mantra, United Kingdom - 05 April, 2006

What do we actually want?

Q1) Do you agree with a contention that India-US nuclear agreement is against China?
Ans) Last week in Canberra, Chinese premier strongly supported US move and uranium supply by Australia to India.

2) Will this agreement destabilize the balance of power in South Asia?
Ans) Pakistan is not in parity with India neither in military nor in economy. Similarly China is way ahead of India. So what is the stability here currently? For every foreign eyes, a Pakistan born man is ruling India and an Indian born man is ruling Pakistan. But still their problems are not getting solved.

4) Do you agree with Ms Rice's statement that Pakistan is not fit for such agreement?
Ans) Yes. Analyze Indian and Pakistani nuclear agenda.

Abraj Thomas, Aruba - 05 April, 2006

Morning everybody, I am sure most of you must be enjoying some entertaining points from different writers. I guess we are not discussing “nuclear pact” but hindi film industry. It is clear that this newspaper is pretty liberal and unbiased which is why everyone's comments are being published, although, some of the writers don't even make any sense. However, there are two things I would to discuss, “high politics and low politics”, some of you may not even aware of this concept, because tennis and film industry is being considered core issues.
In high politics (security and peace), Pakistan is doing great. Pakistan has potential and power to face any challenge, therefore, it is waste of precious time to discuss this point or “ US-India nuclear pact” again and again. Pakistan does understand energy needs are vital, if a country does not able to produce it, she must seek help from other nations under IAEA. It is simply to help meet energy needs. Beyond that there is no impact on terms of peace and security to any nation because neighboring China and Pakistan are in a strong positions. Pakistan is fighting an important and extraordinary war against terrorists and we expect Pakistan to continue this fight in order to make World much safer. It is a great sacrifice by Pakistani men and international community does appreciate this very deed. With regard of “Low politics” (the economy and welfare), Pakistan is growing significantly, we do have 25 percent poverty, but the government is committed to uplift these people, it could have done long time ago but because of corrupt politicians poor were left behind.
As a Pakistani, we are safe and secure, economic stability is spreading gradually and job opportunities are being created for better future. There are loopholes and there will be in future too but overall performance is great.

Zulfiqar Tanoli, United Kingdom - 05 April, 2006

Mr. Mantra,
Come on dude, I don't have to go to India to verify your claims, if there is liberty and freedom in your country, good for you. I was describing the reality on ground. It shows how narrow mind you are. I am sure many Pakistanis accept India as a neighbor and you need to live in real world. Pakistanis breath the same air as you do. What makes you think so special, idealistic and irrational? My comments were impartial. But I think you didn't read the article or may be did not understand.

John Melad, Netherlands - 05 April, 2006

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