Changes in laws may insulate from N-pact

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2007, 04:59am hrs
Making a nuanced modification of his earlier line that Indo-US civil nuclear deal would be acceptable to party if the government made it conditional to domestic laws by amending the countrys Atomic Energy Act 1962, senior BJP leader LK Advani on Thursday endorsed the position: but added they would provide more muscle to renegotiate the 123 pact.

While arguing that his remarks were in line with the partys stand, which said, the deal was unacceptable because of Hyde Act, Advani said, My interview with The Indian Express was intended to clarify how the BJPs opposition to the deal stems from considerations of pure national interest and not from any kind of anti-Americanism, which may be motivating the Left parties.

A suggestion has been made recently that, as the US domestic laws are the ones that are causing the problem, we should examine whether we can change our laws, such as the Atomic Energy Act in such a way as to insulate our strategic objectives, he said in a statement adding that if that could be done, we should strengthen our laws, and, on the basis of those altered laws, renegotiate the nuclear pact.

In an attempt to align his reported remarks with the party line he said, each of the (BJP) statements had been fully deliberated upon and approved by the senior-most leaders under the guidance and presence of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

These statements embody the party's considered view on every aspect of the deal. There is no change in that position, he said.

Reiterating the party line Advani said, I would like to emphasise that the provisions of Hyde Act militate against India's sovereignty - in particular, in regard to the conduct of our foreign policy. When enforced, they will seriously impair our nuclear weapons programme and thereby jeopardise our strategic objectives.

Further informing reporters, party's Parliamentary wing spokesperson Sushma Swaraj said that he had rejected the government's proposal of constituting a mechanism involving only UPA and Left leaders. "He is of the view that any mechanism on the issue will be meaningless if a joint parliamentary committee was not constituted," she said.