Today's Paper

It’s a privileged document, says Congress

Gargi Parsai

No sharing with third parties without going through IAEA procedures

“Government is following what it promised”

They have betrayed the nation: Moily

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday said the “Safeguards Agreement” entered into between the Government of India and the Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was a “privileged document” and it could not be shared with third parties without going through the procedures laid by the agency.

Responding to the Left parties’ demand to place the text of the “Safeguards Agreement” before the country, convener of the United Progressive Alliance-Left committee on the India-U.S. nuclear agreement Pranab Mukherjee said that confidential briefing texts, summarising the contents of the agreements and the outcome of the negotiations, were circulated on March 17, May 6 and June 25.

Mr. Mukherjee said that when some members of the committee sought the text of the document they were told that they would have to join the government in order to have access to the text.

Quoting Mr. Mukherjee’s letter All India Congress Committee chairman of the media committee M. Veerappa Moily said that at the November 16 , 2007 meeting of the UPA-Left committee, it was agreed that the government would proceed for talks with the IAEA and that “the outcome would be presented to the committee” before the latter’s findings were finalised.

“The government is following exactly what it promised in the agreement on November 16, 2007. The Left has no cause for action on that count,” he said.

Assailing the Left parties for announcing their decision to withdraw support to the government at a time when the nation was mourning the death of Indians in the bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul, he said “they want their personal prestige to have overriding effect on national prestige.”

Charging the Left parties with “joining with communal forces to destabilise the nation against secular forces,” he said: “they have not betrayed the UPA or the Congress. They have betrayed the nation.”

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