India joins elite group controlling exports in missile technology

Published: June 27, 2016
Foreign Secretary Jaishankar receives MTCR membership papers from Envoys of France, Netherlands and Luxembourg. PHOTO: MEA INDIA

Foreign Secretary Jaishankar receives MTCR membership papers from Envoys of France, Netherlands and Luxembourg. PHOTO: MEA INDIA

Just a day after it was denied the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, India on Monday joined an exclusive club of countries controlling exports in missile technology.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed onto the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) aimed at preventing the unchecked proliferation of missiles and their delivery systems, the Associated Press reported.

“India’s entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,” read a foreign ministry statement issued after signing the accession document in presence of the ambassadors of France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

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The foreign ministry also thanked the other 34 members of the MTCR group for supporting New Delhi’s inclusion.

Admission in the MTCR is being seen as the next step for India in legitimising its nuclear energy and missile programmes after it conducted atomic tests in 1998 that alarmed the international community.

The MTCR restricts the proliferation of missiles, rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, or drones, and the technology for systems capable of carrying a payload of 500kg for at least 300km, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction.

Last week, at a plenary meeting of the nuclear group in Seoul, India’s membership to the 48-nation group that controls access to sensitive nuclear technology was shot down after China raised procedural hurdles.

India, still smarting over being denied entry, on Sunday hit out at Beijing, saying the issue of its membership of the nuclear group was not going to go away.

External Affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said New Delhi had taken up the issue with Beijing at multiple levels.

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“We are going to continue discussing this with China. This is going to be an important element of our discussion with China. We will continue to impress upon them that relationships move forward on the basis of mutual accommodation of each other’s interests, concerns and priorities,” Swarup told reporters in New Delhi.

China is not a member of the MTCR, however. Beijing’s application to join the MTCR is pending, leading to some analysts in New Delhi saying India could use it as a bargaining chip to leverage its entry into the nuclear group.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • wiserneighbour
    Jun 27, 2016 - 4:50PM

    Wise diplomacy.Now India knows where to hit China.If you glance through the comments of Indian newspapers,a boycott call has already begun.A massive market like India can do wonders to serve Indian foreign policy and Indian interests.Recommend

  • SHAH
    Jun 27, 2016 - 5:19PM

    @wiserneighbour: ; Really good to be member of MTCR; this means Hindus-tan cannot export any technology on CAT-1 Missile technology to any Country.. this means restricting yourself and binding to remain within what you have.. All MTCR member countries cannot export technology to other countries; Not permitted at all. Good; it is like tying yourself to the pole with a rope and saying , wallah, I am now the member of the cows club with rope around your neck tied to a pole; Critical with meaning ful result is to become member of NSG… For that again need to sign NPT and CTBT.. Once done that then NSG is possible. Joining MTCR means diddly squat; Recommend

  • Arman
    Jun 27, 2016 - 5:36PM

    India joins MTCR and now Indian nuclear establishment will divert its all resources to develop latest nuclear tipped missiles and other delivery systems. On the other hand billions of poor Indians who have no access to basic necessities of life will suffer. Recommend

  • TYT
    Jun 27, 2016 - 7:06PM

    @SHAH haha you have no idea about MTCR. Pakistans will never become a member of wither MTCR or NSG in your life times or maybe never. Recommend

  • Jiten
    Jun 27, 2016 - 7:21PM

    You do not have a clue of what you are talking about. India may not export missile technology to NON-MTCR countries, but can definitely export the missile itself. That suits India perfectly fine because India does not want to part with its technology in the first place. However, MTCR membership allows India to get entire missile technology transfer from MTCR countries with more advanced missile technology like US and Russia. This is a perfect win-win for India. Never understood how the “rope around the neck tied to a pole” issue ever came about….

    BTW, India is already beginning to impose trade and investment restrictions on China. Expect a different tune from China on NSG in 6 months time….Recommend

  • pankaj
    Jun 27, 2016 - 7:30PM

    @Shah… u should ask why did china apply for the membership and got rejected. You need to do a lot of research before taking absurd. Recommend

  • Salim Khan
    Jun 27, 2016 - 7:34PM

    India joining MTCR is more dangerous than it joining NSG because with special waiver of 2008, India already gets all the benefits of NSG. But with MTCR, India can get the most advance Predator drones from USA. ( By the way the CEO of the company, General Dynamics, which makes most advanced drones in the world is an Indian). This will change the dynamics of the entire India-China military balance. Now Indians will have deep hitting capability. These drones are very sophisticated and can poses nuclear missiles and can go thousands of miles from the control centre.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 27, 2016 - 7:37PM

    I don’t understand whats the point of joining this ‘elite group’ … I don’t see any strategic benefit being served, a part from joining a club, and that is it i guess. Funny how these politicians are making their people fool by registering their country to clubs whose membership means almost nothing on the strategic scale. Recommend

  • vinsin
    Jun 27, 2016 - 7:38PM

    I doubt China will ever join MTCR or interested in it. Joining MTCR for China would mean getting scrutinize over Pakistan-China Missile technology transfer and know-how.

    By joining MTCR India can export short range missiles without getting hit by any sanctions. India never tried to share missile technology to other countries anyway.
    Similarly NSG will help India to export her AHWR. Signing NPT and joining NSG is ofcourse a straight forward easiest route, but India wants to join NSG by getting exceptions.

    There are millions of poor Indians not billions, and that is because of incomplete partition.Recommend

  • SG
    Jun 27, 2016 - 8:00PM

    This issue is not that simple. If you read the entire discussion on this topic in the international forums, this seems like a good deal for India.
    I think India will continue to pursue its own goals, and Pakistan should do the same…as long as the aim is not to harm its neighbors.Recommend

  • Mostly Bull
    Jun 27, 2016 - 8:08PM

    @ Shah: “diddly squat” indeed….!! what is though, is your piddle dribble awareness of what MTCR is all about; whyn’t go read up mate…before pissin’ all over the wall..?Recommend

  • chanakya
    Jun 27, 2016 - 8:16PM

    @SHAH: Mr. Shah when you are from a country where AQ.Khan is the revered nuclear hero then you can only think diddly squat. Its not only about proliferation or export there are 1000 things such as technology exchange to innovation to diversification which you can do with right amount of creativity, ofcourse things which are beyond your understanding.

    P.S If its diddly squat why is your friend China is desperate for MTCR from 2004.Recommend

  • Fawad
    Jun 27, 2016 - 8:54PM

    @SHAH: China is trying to be in this group for long. This group get access to different technologies like predator drones to new hi-tech, otherwise one ends up developing all this alone. Withing this group countries share technologies easily as they all are bound by same principles. Many countries want to enter but denied. Apart from this India can bargain with China over this, in return of NSG entry China gets India’s support for MTCR.Recommend

  • King Khan
    Jun 27, 2016 - 9:12PM

    Joining MTCR means diddly squat ? says who ? MTCR gives India to partner with countries to gain technology to make more advanced missiles and space tech. The restriction on Russia not to partner India on developing Brahmos for more than 300 KM is gone. Now India and Russia can partner developing longer range hypersonic missiles and what a coincidence that this happens right when Brahmos 2 is under development. Being MTCR member removes restrictions of hi tech defense transfers from EU and USA to India. Ask China if MTCR means diddly squat.
    Actually for India NSG means diddly squat. Cause it already has gained exceptions in NSG few years ago. Full membership is just a mater of time.Recommend

  • Last Word
    Jun 27, 2016 - 9:32PM

    This is for China and Pakistan with love, India’s next destination is NSG. Recommend

  • kam
    Jun 27, 2016 - 9:39PM

    I think India is a big market and India have to give a share of this market to all these countries supporting India for inclusion in elite clubs there is no such thing as free meal. All these countries will use Pakistan as bargaining chip to get more and more out of India and India will give more.
    Pakistan on other hand should move motion in UN or international court of justice that giving undue favours to a country in return of economic favours is plainly and simply a case of international corruption and highly immoral. Recommend

  • Saleem Shahid
    Jun 27, 2016 - 9:52PM

    The US New World Order……! the United States sequeezed Pakistan for her ulterior motrives and betrayed it once its interests are fulfilled. It failed in Veitnam then and in Afghanistan now and will again if it diddly underestimates real worth of Pakistan and that of China by including India in groups like MTCR and NSG. Tut……..
    The US losing her time tested friends like Pakistan and Saudi Atrabia for her insane and imprudent diplomatic websRecommend

  • سے Shaam (Hanafi)
    Jun 27, 2016 - 10:45PM

    @kam: Wow, just amazing genius!Recommend

  • Bharat
    Jun 28, 2016 - 2:03AM

    For those who understand very little or nothing at all – with the satellites we have in India, we can now buy missiles and set up the same system as the one that the US used in Iraq.
    That is a laser based missile aiming system.

    We do not need to use our nukes anymoreRecommend

  • Prada
    Jun 28, 2016 - 6:37AM

    This deal will really help in India’s Anti-Ballistic Missile shield which is already in an advanced stage. Recommend

  • Korn
    Jun 28, 2016 - 6:45AM

    @kam: wow what a comment. You must be a lawyer!!Recommend

  • PDS
    Jun 28, 2016 - 8:30AM

    Someone commented, “Pakistan is only a bargaining chip for other countries wanting to tap ever exapnding Indian market and PPP of Indian middle class.”
    Nothing could be more true.
    All membership of so called elite clubs/groups will be granted to India in due course… within 1 year or within 10 years…it all depends on our bargaining and negotiating powers…and since modiji being at helm…I don’t think it will take time…he is a terrific task master.
    One thing for sure Pakistan won’t gain much with such kind of dealings…since nothing comes free in this world… and I doubt Pakistan has anything serious to offer to these countries other than some infra projects.Recommend

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