Chomsky says Indo-US nuclear deal will harm Indo-Pak peace
* US scholar says NPT states not trying to eliminate nuclear weapons
WASHINGTON: The Indo-US nuclear deal may well reverse the progress India and Pakistan have made in their bilateral relations and prevent the laying of the gas pipeline from Iran to India through Pakistan, which could bring peace to the region, according to US scholar and intellectual Noam Chomsky.
Chomsky writes, “Over the past few years, India and Pakistan have made strides towards easing the tensions between the two countries. People-to-people contacts have increased and the governments are in discussion over the many outstanding issues that divide the two states. Those promising developments may well be reversed by the Indo-US nuclear deal. One of the means to build confidence throughout the region was the creation of a natural gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan into India. The ‘peace pipeline’ would have tied the region together and opened the possibilities for further peaceful integration. The pipeline, and the hope it offers, might become a casualty of the Indo-US agreement, which Washington sees as a measure to isolate its Iranian enemy by offering India nuclear power in exchange for Iranian gas — though in fact India would gain only a fraction of what Iran could provide.”
NPT states ignoring legal obligation: He denounces the Indo-US nuclear deal and accuses the Bush administration of “outlaw behaviour”. In a commentary carried by the online site, Information Clearing House, Chomsky maintains that none of the NPT states has carried out its legal obligation, confirmed by the World Court, to live up to Article 6 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which calls for good-faith negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely. None of them has lived up to it. The US is a leading violator, especially the Bush administration, which has even stated that it isn’t subject to Article 6.
Chomsky notes that On July 27, Washington entered into an agreement with India that “guts the central part of the NPT,” though there remains substantial opposition in both countries. India, like Israel and Pakistan (but unlike Iran), is not an NPT signatory, and has developed nuclear weapons outside the treaty. With this new agreement, the Bush administration effectively endorses and facilitates this “outlaw behaviour”. The agreement violates US law, and bypasses the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the 45 nations that have established strict rules to lessen the danger of proliferation of nuclear weapons. He cites Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, who has said that the agreement does not bar further Indian nuclear testing as it “incredibly ... commits Washington to help New Delhi secure fuel supplies from other countries even if India resumes testing.” It also permits India to “free up its limited domestic supplies for bomb production”. All these steps are in direct violation of international non-proliferation agreements, according to Chomsky.
Chomsky fears that the Indo-US agreement is likely to prompt others to break the rules as well. Pakistan is reported to be building a plutonium production reactor for nuclear weapons, apparently beginning a more advanced phase of weapons design. Israel, the regional nuclear superpower, has been lobbying Congress for privileges similar to India’s, and has approached the Nuclear Suppliers Group with requests for exemption from its rules. Now France, Russia and Australia have moved to pursue nuclear deals with India, as China has with Pakistan.
Chomsky argues that the Indo-US deal mixes military and commercial motives. “In most of the world, few can fail to see the cynicism. Washington rewards allies and clients that ignore the NPT rules entirely, while threatening war against Iran, which is not known to have violated the NPT, despite extreme provocation.
The United States has occupied two of Iran’s neighbours and openly sought to overthrow the Iranian regime since it broke free of US control in 1979,” according to the writer. Chomsky maintains that the Indo-US agreement “richly deserves to be derailed”.
The threat of nuclear war is extremely serious, and growing, and part of the reason is that the nuclear states, led by the US, simply refuse to live up to their obligations or are significantly violating them — this latest effort being another step toward disaster.
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