The Nuclear Deal ....step by step Snapshot
A step by step guide to India's Nuclear journey so far.
The Indo-US Nuclear Deal means three things. (One) It is a changing of a very powerful set of global rules to accommodate India; it is a recognition of India’s responsibility and its rising capabilities; and the importance of the US-India partnership. Two, it gives India access to something it has never had for the last 30-odd years, and that is nuclear energy cooperation with a whole range of countries, which is going to be vital if India is going to meet its developmental goals. The third is more symbolic, in that it means the end of the nuclear apartheid regime to use (former external affairs minister) Jaswant Singh’s famous phrase, that kept India out of the group of elite countries. It is truly a transformative event and when historians write about in the coming decades, this will have been one of those turning points in India’s march towards becoming a great power.
Does this deal make India the world's sixth nuclear power?
Well, it does. Not in a legal sense of course. Not de jure, but de facto. Because India has the one privilege that the P-5 states have, that it can access civilian nuclear cooperation from the international community without any constraints on its civilian nuclear programme.
It can continue to build weapons, it can continue to maintain its weapons, it can expand its inventory, if it so chooses. And this is a privilege that is really accorded only to five countries, and India is the sixth country with this privilege.
Does this deal mark the de-hyphenation of India and Pakistan?
Probably yes. If there is a hyphenation, it is actually the opposite of what was originally meant. People look at India as a success story, people look at Pakistan as a state at risk. So if it’s a hyphenation, it is a hyphenation of contrast, it’s not a hyphenation of compatibility.
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