Not as easy as 1-2-3

Not as easy as 1-2-3
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First Published: Wed, Jul 30 2008. 11 24 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Jul 31 2008. 04 38 PM IST
New Delhi: While the trust vote has been won, the road ahead for the Indo-US nuclear deal is far from ending, with the Government doing everything it can to ensure its success.
It has already unveiled a massive lobbying effort. Three ministers, Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Anand Sharma, Minister of State for External Affairs, and Kapil Sibal, Science and Technology Minister, besides senior officials in the MEA such as Foreign Secretary Shivshanker Menon, Special Envoy to the PM Shyam Saran, Special Envoy (Retd) Chinmoy Gharekhan, Secretary (East) N. Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations) Hardeep Singh Puri, Secretary (West) Nalin Surie are fanning out to lobby the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group).
The IAEA will meet in Vienna on 1 August. It is up to the Atomic Energy Commission’s chief, Anil Kakodkar, to persuade the 35-member board of governors to clear the India-Specific Safeguards Agreement (ISSA). It is believed this should take about 72 hours to clear.
Then, the NSG will have to be convinced to make an exception for India and allow for the open sale of nuclear fuel from countries such as France, Russia and the United States.
However, the US Congress still needs to vote on the issue and that will probably happen in late September. President Bush is likely to invoke the rules that allow him to request Congress to collapse the 90-day stipulation required to debate any piece of legislation to its minimum – that is, one day.
By late September, the road map for nuke deal may finally see the end in sight.
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First Published: Wed, Jul 30 2008. 11 24 PM IST