Stop military ties with US, Karat warns again
Aug 31, 2007, 14:00 GMT
New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) A day after its temporary truce with the government over the contentious Indo-US civil nuclear deal, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday issued another warning asking it to stop military ties with the US.
In an article in party mouthpiece 'People's Democracy' CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat cautioned the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of a mass movement against New Delhi's deepening military ties with Washington.
'The UPA government is mistaken, if it thinks that it can go ahead with such military collaboration without evoking strong opposition from the patriotic people of India,' he said in the article.
'The Left parties have been the most consistent defenders of India's sovereignty and the pursuit of an independent foreign policy,' he said adding: 'The nuclear deal, the military agreement and the economic policies designed to advance the interests of the US capital are part of the trio which are harmful for India's sovereignty, independent foreign policy and the people's economic interests.'
The Left parties have announced two marches from Kolkata and Chennai to Vishakapatnam from Sep 4-8, during the time the Indian Navy will be conducting joint exercises - for the first time - in the Bay of Bengal with the navies of US Australia, Japan and Singapore.
'The two jathas (marches) and the nationwide campaign will deliver a powerful message that the Indian people are opposed to India becoming a subordinate military ally of the US,' Karat warned.
Pointing out that Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation of 1971 was different from the Defence Framework Agreement with the US government that the present government has signed in June 2005, Karat said with the latter pact, New Delhi had accepted 'the US concept of multinational operations in third countries outside the UN auspices'.
According to him, the US wants India to join its missile defence system - which Japan and Taiwan are part of - and is offering it the Patriot missile system.
'The framework talks about shared security interests in protecting free flow of commerce via land, air and sea-lanes along with preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And the defence partnership is extended to sale of US weapons and co-production,' the CPI-M leader said.
Karat added: 'India is getting meshed into the security cooperation sponsored by the US.
'If the Defence Framework Agreement is fully implemented, India would acquire the status of US allies like Japan and South Korea in Asia.'
The article also said some stray joint exercises with Russia and other countries could not cover up the fact that the Indian armed forces are getting interlocked with the United States' armed forces 'steadily'.
The CPI-M-led Left parties have opposed the 123 agreement between India and the US saying that it would not be in the national interest.
Although the stand-off between the UPA and the communists - who extend crucial support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government - has reached a point where the stability of the government was threatened, both sides have decided to appoint a committee to look into the concerns expressed by the Left over the nuclear pact.
© 2007 Indo-Asian News Service