WASHINGTON – President Bush is heading to Asia this week with high hopes of securing a nuclear deal with India.
Supporters say the pact would allow the United States to provide the technology and nuclear fuel India needs to meet its growing needs for energy and ease demand for oil.
American opponents say it would make India an exception to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which India will not sign. There are also fears of escalating the nuclear race with Pakistan.
For its part, India would pledge to separate its nuclear energy work from its nuclear weapons activity and give inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency access to its civilian program.
Washington and New Delhi both want the accord in place for Bush's visit.
The president also is making a stop in Pakistan, India's neighbor and rival.