Washington: Stressing on the importance of Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, a senior US official has assured lawmakers in his country that the agreement would not in any way fuel an arms race in South Asia.
“I appreciate the effort the Congress put into passing the legislation. It was landmark legislation and very well crafted in terms of letting the president and the prime minister move forward in a way that is prudent and in a way that meets their own expectations that they put down when they negotiated this,” Assistant Secretary of South and Central Asia Richard Boucher told lawmakers at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on 7 March.
“There have been a lot of studies and a lot of statements during the debate on what it would do for India’s military programmes and whether it would do anything at all or not. I still believe it wouldn’t; I don’t think the incentives are there,” he said.
“As far as the potential for an arms race in the region, we’ve talked quite clearly to both India and Pakistan. Both of them tell us they don’t want to see an arms race; they have no intention of starting one. And indeed, they’re not only talking, they’re making a lot of progress,” the senior official added.
“On the issue of military versus civilian, the essence of the deal was a separation between the two and a separation that can be maintained and will be maintained by the Indians based on their decisions and policy, but also in cooperation with some of these international agreements.”