The Indo-US nuclear deal was a 'bad idea' from the start, a leading American daily said on Monday and asked the Congress to resist pressure to approve the agreement, which it dubbed as 'ill-conceived'.
In an editorial highly critical of the deal, the New York Times has urged lawmakers to hold off considering the deal at least until the new Congress takes office in January.
'And they must insist that at a minimum, the restrictions already written into American law are strictly adhered to,' it said.
'The next President will have to do a far better job containing the world's growing nuclear appetites. And for that, he will need all of the moral authority and leverage he can muster,' the paper said.
President George W Bush, it said, has failed to achieve so many of his foreign policy goals but last weekend he proved that he can still get what he really wants.
'The administration bullied and wheedled international approval of the president's ill-conceived nuclear deal with India,' the Times said.
It criticised Bush and his aides for dismissing warnings that 'breaking the rules' would make it even harder to pressure Iran and others to abandon their nuclear ambitions.
'The White House will now try to wheedle and bully Congress to quickly sign off on the deal. Congress should resist that pressure,' it said.
The suppliers' group, the editorial said, gave its approval after India said it would abide by a voluntary moratorium on testing but said it does not require any member to cut off trade if India breaks that pledge.
'That means that if India tests a nuclear weapon, it could still bypass American suppliers and keep buying fuel and technology from other less exacting sellers,' it added.