23 October, 2020

The Bush Effect

The Republicans' India policy could differ from stated views

The Bush Effect
With George W. Bush only a month away from stepping into the White House, the sense of relief among South Block mandarins is apparent. No longer will they have to counter the pressure on India for signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (ctbt), an issue which had initially bogged down relations between the Clinton administration and New Delhi post-Pokhran. Bush's proposed move to abandon the ctbt could provide a new impetus to Indo-US relations.

The ctbt may die a natural death but the issue of non-proliferation could continue to haunt New Delhi. For, it is erroneously believed that with the ctbt out of the way, sanctions against India would also go automatically. The fact is that only the President has the authority to waive the sanctions that come into force when a country goes nuclear. But since sanctions as a regime is not an obsession with the Republicans, Bush might use his waiver authority to lift them.

Much will obviously depend on New Delhi's response to the Republican's demand for transparency on nuclear matters. At the Wharton global business forum in...


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