June 09, 2016
9 June, 2016, Marxistindia: Indo-US Statement: Abandoning India's Independent Position
Indo-US Statement: Abandoning India's Independent Position [En]
The 50-paragraph Indo-US Joint Statement issued during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the USA titled 'The United States and India: Enduring Global Partners in the 21st Century' is a declaration that cements India's role as a strategic junior partner of US global strategic designs.
The agreement covers almost the entire scope of bilateral relations as well as a global partnership declaring that India has abandoned its established independent foreign policy and has firmly tied itself to the apron strings of US global strategic designs. The agreement covers a range of issues from climate change and India's commitment to enforce the Paris Declaration; on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) endorsing US objectives which are declared as common interests of India as well; civilian nuclear cooperation and importantly defence agreements. Ten paragraphs are devoted to defence related issues.
Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)
This is the new name for the Logistic Support Agreement which allows each military to avail logistic support facilities - fuel, spare parts, mechanics etc - of the other while on joint training. This now commits India to provide logistic facilities such as re-fuelling of US air force on its adventures of military intervention in any part of the world. Given US/NATO military interventions in West Asia, where there is a large NRI presence, this will have serious consequences both for Indian foreign policy as well as Indians working in these countries. This abandons both our independent foreign policy and our bilateral interests with the friendly countries in West Asia and the Gulf.
Priority Partners in the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region
This has dangerous implications for India's relations with the South Asian countries. India's interests in the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region have now been equated with the US interests and the US strategic objective of "containment of China". The Modi government has clearly abandoned India's longstanding policy of developing good neighbourly relations and also the "Look East Policy". The government has to answer against whom is India becoming a priority partner of the USA in the region.
Major Defence Partner
In this Joint Statement, the USA has accorded India the status of its major defence partner. What are the obligations of this partnership?
These are all major issues which are being decided without any debate in the Indian Parliament by this BJP-led Modi government.
Civilian Nuclear Cooperation:
Cancel Nuclear Reactors Purchase
The purchase of six Westinghouse nuclear reactors to be set up at Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh is going to be a costly and unviable venture. It is being done only as a quid quo pro for the nuclear deal with the United States. The cost of the AP1000 reactors are going to be prohibitive, just as the French Areva reactors to be set up at Jaitapur. By a conservative estimate it is going to cost Rs. 2.8 lakh crores for the six reactors. The cost of power produced from these reactors is going to be unsustainable.
Moreover, putting all six reactors on a single site will compromise safety and magnify the consequences of any nuclear accident. The Westinghouse deal is also being worked out by circumventing the Nuclear Liability law of India by nullifying the suppliers liability. The insurance risk and liability are to be borne by the Indian public through the nationalized insurance companies.
The CPI(M) demands that this costly and unviable purchase of nuclear reactors be cancelled as the final contractual agreement has not been arrived at yet. India cannot afford to provide super profits to US based corporates at the expense of our people's welfare and prosperity.
The CPI(M) demands that these issues must be opened to public scrutiny and debated in the Parliament. Such a major shift in India's foreign policy, independent defence capabilities etc cannot be allowed.