Anti-nuke Obama won't allow India to expand weapons program - US - World - The Times of India Anti-nuke Obama won't allow India to expand weapons program WASHINGTON: Just hours before the Nobel Committee announced the Peace award for Barack Obama citing his work in nuclear weapons elimination, the American President transmitted to the US Congress a letter which in effect promised that his administration was working with other countries not to support enhancement of India’s nuclear weapons program. Such a Presidential letter, or ''certification'' is required every six months under section 204 of the US-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Act, but Obama’s punctilious reporting to the Congress of the US meeting its obligation is among the factors that mark him out to be a staunch anti-nuclear weapons advocate. Section 204 (a) of what the Obama White House formally calls the ''US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act'' requires the U.S President to certify to Congress that ''it is the policy of the U.S to work with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), individually and collectively, to agree to further restrict the transfers of equipment and technology related to the enrichment of uranium and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel'' to India. (Section B of the act says the President ''shall seek to achieve, by the earliest possible date, either within the NSG or with relevant NSG Participating Governments, the adoption of principles, reporting, and exchanges of information as may be appropriate to assure peaceful use and accounting of by-product material.'') Distilled from the legalese is the commitment that the US — and the NSG — will not allow India to in any way enhance its weapons-making capability riding on the civilian nuclear deal. While some Indian critics expect Obama to be a thorn in the prospects of a muscularly nuclear India, the fact is as a senator Obama voted for the US-India nuclear deal — which implicitly recognizes India as a nuclear weapons power. Since then, as President, he has not questioned India’s status as a nuclear weapons power. But working toward abolishing nuclear weapons seems to be an article of faith with him, although he concedes that it may not be accomplished in his lifetime. ''We cannot tolerate a world in which nuclear weapons spread to more nations and in which the terror of a nuclear holocaust endangers more people. And that's why we've begun to take concrete steps to pursue a world without nuclear weapons, because all nations have the right to pursue peaceful nuclear power, but all nations have the responsibility to demonstrate their peaceful intentions,'' Obama said after the Nobel award, echoing remarks he has made frequently in the past, starting with his landmark address in Prague last year. That speech appears to have impressed the Nobel grandees. In its statement, the Nobel committee said it ''attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.'' Obama though is conscious of his limitations in carrying through his vision both in the face of geo-political complexities and a hard-line, militaristic, entrenched domestic constituency that believes ardently in a tough nuclear posture. ''Some of the work confronting us will not be completed during my presidency. Some, like the elimination of nuclear weapons, may not be completed in my lifetime,'' Obama said post-award. ''But I know these challenges can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.''