Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Wednesday, 20 July 2005 13:28 UK

India media upbeat on US nuclear deal

Indian newspapers have greeted the historic deal between India and the United States on civilian nuclear co-operation with cautious optimism.

Indian papers
The deal made headlines news

"The agreement promises to end India's nuclear isolation," says the Indian Express.

"The agreement is also a tribute to India. India is slowly being acknowledged as a full-fledged nuclear power, and an important player in the shaping of a new proliferation order," the newspaper says in an editorial.

The Hindustan Times says the US decision to recognise India as a "responsible" state with nuclear technology "is part of a historic bargain which could transform the global balance of power in as significant a manner as Richard Nixon's opening to China did in the seventies".


The Asian Age, however, sounds a note of caution, saying the "major shift in Indian nuclear policy" may "not be acceptable to the rest of the country".

[President George W Bush] is obviously going to face serious problems in fulfilling the promises he has made
The Pioneer

"Experts detect in the joint statement a compromising of Indian nuclear interests. India has agreed to controls over its control programme in return for the 'ifs and 'buts' of the US assurance to work with others to facilitate India's nuclear civilian programme."

The Times Of India rejects this view.

"Delhi's committing in return to place its civilian nuclear plants under international safeguards does not damage our interests, since military facilities are out of their scope," the newspaper says in an editorial.

"It may, in fact, be a plus, as India's nuclear plants are ageing and doubts have been raised about their safety."

The Pioneer feels that President George W Bush "is obviously going to face serious problems in fulfilling the promises he has made to India on nuclear energy".

Manmohan Singh and George Bush
The nuclear deal has already sparked some opposition in the US

"We should not slow down efforts to achieve self-reliance in nuclear energy. India should aim to become a reliable exporter of nuclear power plants rather than merely remaining an importer."

Business Standard expresses doubts about the "speed with which the outcomes are achieved" - especially in opening Indian markets to US services.

"India is still seen as sclerotic and confused," the newspaper says in an editorial.

"Given the company he keeps at home, it is unlikely that Dr [Manmohan] Singh would have been able to dispel this view," the editorial says, alluding to the ruling Congress party-led government's Communist allies, who have expressed their concerns about the recent Indian engagement with the US.

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