ID :
Mon, 09/08/2008 - 19:16
Auther :

White House to begin efforts to approve nuclear deal

Sridhar Krishnaswami

Washington, Sept 8 (PTI) As India secured a historic
waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (N.S.G.) to carry out
nuclear commerce, all eyes are now on the Bush administration
to commence the process with Congress for approval to
operationalise the deal.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said she
will start talks with Congress leaders today or tomorrow.

The pressure is building on Congress from the Indian
American community that played a phenomenal role in the run up
to the passage of the Hyde Act with the refrain in community
circles being that "anything" can be done in Washington
provided there is a political will.

A senior community leader from Texas who played an
instrumental role in bringing much of his State's delegation
to vote for the Hyde Act including two prominent Senators, has
called on the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,
Howard Berman to see the writing on the wall.

Berman has supported the Hyde Act but is tough on
non-proliferation issues; but even he too signalled yesterday
that if the administration wanted Congress to change the rules
of the time frame then a sufficient case must be put forth--
that is the civilian nuclear agreement is in full conformity
with the Hyde Act.

"Chairman Berman, forty five nations of the N.S.G. have
given their approval and now it is time to waive the rules and
let this agreement be considered by the congress for up and
down vote in this session" the Chairman of the 'US-India
Forum' Ashok Mago said.