Washington: Even as India and the U.S. were trying feverishly to give final shape to the civil nuclear deal between the two countries, a Democratic lawmaker has warned the Bush administration and India, that any attempt to “violate” the Hyde Act in letter or spirit will put Congressional approval on the deal at “serious” risk.

Edward Markey, a Democratic Congressman from Massachussetts and one of the lawmakers on Capitol Hill who has opposed the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal from the very beginning on non-proliferation grounds, said, “President Bush made a huge mistake when he decided to eviscerate our non-proliferation laws in order to restart nuclear trade with India. The idea that the incredibly generous 2006 Hyde Act is too restrictive is absurd, and if President Bush negotiates an agreement with India that violates the letter or spirit of the Hyde Act, he will be putting Congressional approval at serious risk,” he said in a statement.

“I am concerned that the Bush administration, which is predisposed to disregarding laws it dislikes, would consider throwing out the rule-book on a topic as critical as nuclear non-proliferation,” he added. — PTI