In a front page assessment today the Washington Post has said that the US decision to share civilian nuclear technology with India will now “ cement India as a key strategic U.S. ally in Asia for the coming decades “.
Quoting the U.S. Undersecretary of State, Nicholas Burns, the paper said that the nuclear agreement was “ a high water mark of U.S. - India relations since 1947 “.
The Post has also reported that with this deal the U.S. will now make available to India sensitive nuclear technology that can be used either in a civilian or a military program. It could also free India to buy the long sought after Arrow Missile System developed by Israel with U.S. technology.
According to the Post, the agreement does not call for India to cease production of weapons grade plutonium, which will enable India to expand its nuclear arsenal.
While announcing that the deal has catapulted India into a new league, the paper cautioned that “ the White House faces two major hurdles to put the deal into effect.One is altering the rules in the Nuclear suppliers group and the other is persuading Congress to change the U.S. Non Proliferation Act, which prevents sales of sensitive nuclear technology to countries that refuse monitoring of nuclear facilities “.
The Washington Post also reported that already an influential U.S. Congressman, Edward Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts has announced his intent to introduce legislation to block this deal. Along with Congressional pressure will come pressure from Pakistan. Said Markey “ you can be sure that Pakistan will demand equal treatment “.