ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua on Tuesday viewed American efforts to include India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as part of a ‘greater design’ to contain China on the one hand and to prevent the resurgence of Russia on the other hand.
Speaking at a seminar on ‘Pakistan’s case for NSA membership’, Janjua said the current move by the US to induct India into the 48-nation exclusive nuclear club should be seen in the context of ‘global power politics trends’.
He then listed ‘contain China, prevent the resurgence of Russia and keep the Muslim world in a controlled chaos’ as some of the leading trends in the current global power politics.
“So, it’s [part of] a greater design,” he argued, referring to the US decision to lead the campaign for an NSG membership for India. It is unprecedented that a top Pakistani official publicly made such a candid statement about a sensitive issue, though Gen Janjua clarified that this was his ‘personal opinion’.
Talking about the implications of these developments, Janjua cautioned that American policies would ultimately bring Pakistan even closer to China.
Pakistan is upset at the US decision to aggressively campaign for India while ignoring Islamabad’s aspirations to become an NSG member. Last month, Pakistan formally applied for a membership of the NSG, setting the stage for a showdown with India at the group’s plenary session that began on Monday in Seoul.
Islamabad sought the membership of the nuclear trading nations’ club after the Western countries led by the US quietly launched diplomatic efforts to induct India into the NSG.
The campaign for India’s membership into the group is seen as carrying the risk of antagonising Pakistan as well as China, which could veto any Indian application.
Pakistan fears that the induction of India into the NSG would disturb strategic balance and trigger a new arms race in South Asia.
India has launched a hectic diplomatic push to secure the support of 48 members of the NSG. Last week the Indian foreign secretary paid an unannounced visit to Beijing to seek China’s support.
However, India’s efforts were dented by China’s announcement on Monday that India’s admission to the exclusive nuclear club was not on the agenda of the NSG’s meeting currently under way in the South Korean capital.
The announcement made by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in Beijing is seen as a rebuff to India’s effort to join the NSG. “The inclusion of non-NPT members has never been a topic on the agenda of NSG meetings. In Seoul this year, there is no such topic,” Chunying said.
The spokesperson said the opinion within the member countries was divided on including not just India but all countries that are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2016.