Much awaited India’s entry to NSG and MTCR

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US President backed India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which could give it easier access to nuclear technology for research and advancement. He made a statement at a meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi in Washington which culminated in signing agreements to boost co-operation in trade, military ties and climate change including the one that enables US-based Westinghouse Electric Co. to start building six reactors in India.
The US and India will ‘remain invested in each other’s prosperity’, they said. The development exacerbated Pakistan’s growing sense of isolation as hours before the White House meeting, Pakistan’s military and civilian leaders held urgent talks and noted ‘on-going regional developments and inimical designs against stability and prosperity’. However there was no immediate Pakistani reaction to Obama’s expression of support for India joining the NSG.
A joint statement issued on 7th June, 2016 after Obama- Modi meet, the seventh such meeting between the two since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, stated that both countries ‘share common climate and clean energy interests’ and are ‘close partners’ in the fight against global warming. ‘The US-India defence relationship can be an anchor of stability and given the increasingly strengthened co-operation in defence, the United States hereby recognises India as a major defence partner,’ the joint statement read.
Meanwhile a New York Times (NYT) editorial dated 4th June, 2016 observed that India’s membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is ‘not merited until the country meets the group’s standards’. It is seemingly based on factually incorrect interpretation that is influenced by China and Pakistan’s assertion; that gives an impression that only India is non-signatory to NPT, conveniently forgetting the case of France. Moreover, unlike Pakistan which clandestinely sold nuclear technology to North Korea, India did not do anything objectionable as such.
Based on faulty premises, NYT lacks moral right in lecturing India’s nuclear policy as it erroneously puts the burden on India to meet the NSG’s standards, ‘including opening negotiations with Pakistan and China on curbing nuclear weapons and halting the production of nuclear fuel for bombs’. That NYT was not happy when India successfully sent space probe to Mars unfolds the truth-which side the bread is buttered. Hopefully, the opinion does not affect the club and group decide membership.
The 48-nation club NSG has asserted the aim of curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of nuclear materials. NSG was established in 1975 in reaction to India’s nuclear tests; the world wonders why it was not set up decades earlier when China conducted nuclear tests. NSG membership has now degenerated to that of a privileged private club, managed by select few, where membership is by
invitation only.
Pakistan wants to join the NSG and is prompted by its ally China, made an application just seven days after India’s. In spite of clandestinely providing nuclear technology to North Korea and Iran, the widely known proliferator Pakistan shamelessly seeks membership and perceives India’s entry to block its chances as group decisions are made through consensus.
The editorial – reflective of Pakistan’s nuisance value in world politics – rightly observes, ‘That could give Pakistan, which at one time provided nuclear technology to North Korea and Iran, new incentives to misbehave’. Given this record will Pakistan ever stand the rigours of NPT? The inspections would reveal who supplied the equipment and where it was forwarded to.
India has just joined MTCR whereas China’s application for MCTR membership is still pending approval since 2002. Apart from China, the other countries having reservations are Ireland, Austria and New Zealand. Key members Switzerland and Mexico no more oppose India’s membership. Chinese opposition notwithstanding, majority of NSG’s members are in favour as they have bilateral agreements to supply material for India’s nuclear reactors. Absence or denial of membership will ‘not prevent other countries like France, Russia, Australia, Japan and USA from doing nuclear business with India. India has the weaver for that.’
China’s alleged objection that India is non- signatory to Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) is ridiculous. India’s track record on non-proliferation is absolutely clean for over four decades whereas China, although signatory to NPT, proliferated nuclear designs and war heads to North Korea and Pakistan. It is a travesty of justice that the infamous proliferator China, who supplied nuclear know-how to create two uncontrollable nuclear monsters in Pakistan and North Korea, now judges with prejudiced mind application of India who has outstanding record of non-proliferation.
As a matter of principle, India has so far not signed NPT – a highly discriminatory treaty – that recognises only five nuclear weapon states i.e. five permanent member of UNSC to retain nuclear weapons while requiring all subsequent signatories to give up. China intends to be the sole imperial super power in Asia-Pacific region, nay the whole world and pre-empts any move by India for prominence. The elephant in the room threatens to doom India’s bid for membership ‘for now’.
China detests India’s disposition for Russian, American, Japanese reactors to the detriment of Chinese ones which are based on stolen technology so less amenable to future development. As a strong rebuttal India should buck up its Make in India campaign, be a manufacturing hub and provide a real and true stiff competition to low quality but cheap Chinese goods the world over.
Narrow and selfish interests might blind China to block the aspirations of a vibrant democracy of India. But NSG membership should not matter much as India is already getting nuclear material from all the suppliers. As the largest democracy and second populous country in the world, India deserves NSG membership in view of its past record and should hopefully be part of NSG, sooner than later.

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