Thursday, April 16, 2015

Canada's uranium deal with India sets a dangerous precedence

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has signed an agreement yesterday with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper that would allow supply of Uranium from Saskatchewan to India for its nuclear use. It is worth recalling that it was again Canada that had supplied India with the CANDU nuclear reactors that paved the way for India's nuclear bombs. Without those reactors, India would not be a nuclear power today, nor would Pakistan be forced to develop its own, and mind that without any help from any state, let alone Canada. After all, the two countries had fought multiple wars against each other.

Remember all the hoopla about the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). India, interestingly, has never signed the NPT and yet is treated as a 'good guy' by the UNSC. Israel, another rogue state that has not signed the NPT, likewise has hundreds of bombs enough to destroy our world a few times. And she is a darling among the veto-wielding powers of the UNSC, esp. the USA and her NATO friends.
And compare the treatment that Iran, a country that had signed the NPT, has been receiving on the same nuclear issue. In spite of her supreme leader's repeated denunciation of the use of nuclear energy for destruction, she has been treated as a 'bad guy' by the same nuclear Brahmins that has had hitherto a nonchalant attitude about India and Israel. Iran has no nuclear bombs and no technology to make the bombs. Notwithstanding such facts, her serious intention, a legitimate right by any standard, to use nuclear power for peaceful use, e.g., medical, is looked upon unfavorably by and is unacceptable to the nuclear Brahmins, seemingly at the behest of a non-signing rogue state, i.e., Israel.
What would you call such an attitude by our nuclear Brahmins? I call it double-standard or hypocrisy.
I am in favor of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and am totally against the use of nuclear power for destructive purposes by anyone, or by any state. I want our world to be free of this destructive power. I want the Middle East to be a nuclear-free zone, which means no state should have any bomb there.
Unfortunately, our world body, the UN and its powerful UNSC, is miserably failing to set up an honorable standard in this regard. The latter's veto-wielding members are guilty of monumental bias and inconsistency  on such security issues rewarding its criminal friends and victimizing others. With its shameful display of bias, it is becoming a joke and breeding a world that is seemingly lost morally.   
India and Pakistan have fought a few wars and each has nuclear bombs. By signing an agreement with India, Canada has once again shown that it is not interested in reducing tension in that region which we call South Asia but is more interested in fueling the tension. It is dangerous and Harper ought to be ashamed of the deal with a known murderer like Modi.
You can read the full report from the AFP of India's agreement with Canada on Uranium below. 
Ottawa: Canada´s prime minister announced a breakthrough deal Wednesday to supply uranium to India for electricity generation, putting behind decades of discord over India´s surreptitious use of Canadian technologies to build atomic bombs.
The agreement was signed in Ottawa during a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- the first Indian leader to visit Canada in 42 years, since Indira Gandhi.
The Can$350 million (US$283 million) contract is for the supply of 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate over the next five years, for use in a growing number of Indian nuclear power plants.
The uranium is to be sourced from the northern Saskatchewan mines of Cameco, the world´s third-largest uranium producer, accountable for 16 percent of world production. It currently exports about Can$1 billion worth of uranium annually.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said a nuclear cooperation agreement concluded in 2012 laid the groundwork for the two Commonwealth nations "to turn the page on what had been in our judgment an unnecessarily frosty relationship for too along."
The 2012 pact signed by Harper and Modi´s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, allows Canadian companies to export nuclear materials for peaceful uses, in accordance with Canada´s nuclear non-proliferation policy.
Its ratification had been delayed several years as the two nations could not agree on how to track India´s use of nuclear material to ensure it was put to peaceful purposes.
New Delhi balked at Ottawa´s demand to be allowed to monitor the safe use of its nuclear exports. In the end, the two countries agreed to set up a joint panel to supervise the exports.
New Delhi -- backed by the United States -- also won an exemption in 2008 from the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which governs global nuclear trade, to allow it to buy reactors and fuel from abroad -- even though it has not signed the non-proliferation treaty.
- No longer nuclear pariah -
India had been subject to a global embargo since 1974 when it first staged an atomic weapons test.
It used plutonium from a Canadian reactor to start developing its nuclear arms program in the early 1970s.
Today, India operates 21 nuclear reactors providing 6,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity meeting about three percent of the country´s electricity needs.
Another six reactors are under construction and scheduled to come online by 2017. By 2032, India expects to have 45,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity.
Modi told a joint press conference with Harper that the uranium procurement deal marks "a new era of bilateral cooperation (and)... trust and confidence in India."
"This gives the energy to our relations," he said.
The two leaders also pledged a renewed push to get stalled free trade talks back on track.
Bilateral trade is small -- only Can$6.3 billion in 2014, according to Canadian government figures.
"Both Mr. Modi and I believe it could be worth much more," Harper said. "Canada has what India needs and vice versa."
Harper said he hoped to have a free trade deal completed by September. However, "there are many issues to be resolved," he added.
Modi´s visit to Canada comes after stops in France, where he ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets in a multi-billion-euro agreement, and Germany.
He is seeking to attract investors as he tries to rewrite India´s reputation as a tricky place to do business, beset by bureaucracy, corruption and a stringent tax regime.
In Canada, Modi is scheduled to visit Toronto, where he will give a keynote speech at a rock star-like coliseum event, and Vancouver.
Nearly 1.2 million Canadians trace their roots to India. South Asians are the largest visible minority in Canada.
Modi is also expected to face protesters who accuse him having encouraged deadly communal riots in 2002 in the western state of Gujarat, which he governed for over a decade. (AFP)

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