Washington: India's commitment to maintaining a moratorium on nuclear testing and its strict adherence to export controls of sensitive nuclear technology are crucial for obtaining Congressional approval of the India-U.S. civilian nuclear deal, two experts said on Tuesday.
Terming these two conditions as "bottom line requirements" for a formal nuclear cooperation agreement, two non-proliferation experts, Michael Levi and Charles Ferguson, told reporters that the Congress should ensure that if India breaks its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, cooperation with New Delhi would cease.
Mr. Levi and Mr. Ferguson, both Fellows at the Council of Foreign Relations, said preventing further Indian nuclear testing and fundamental changes in Indian nuclear strategy is more important than blocking growth of its nuclear weapons. "If India resorts to more testing, it would encourage China, for example, to cooperate more closely with Pakistan, and Russia to expand its aid to Iran's nuclear programme," they contended.
"Congress should also focus on obtaining cooperation from India as well as other countries in controlling the spread of sensitive nuclear technologies through strict export control measures to prevent rogue nations or terrorists from obtaining weapons-grade technology," they added.
The Congress should quickly adopt a `Sense of Congress Resolution' to endorse the deal's basic framework.