Security experts have warned that a special waiver for India — a non-NPT state— to make entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will destabilise regional security.
They also said that acquiescence of nuclear powers will undermine the global non-proliferation regime.
They were speaking at a roundtable discussion titled “Indo-US nuclear deal: politics of NSG and its implications for Pakistan”, held at the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), an Islamabad-based think tank, said a press release issued here on Saturday.
The speakers said that following the deadlock over the entry of non-NPT states into the NSG at the last plenary session of the nuclear cartel, some of its members were now aiming at admission criteria that could achieve a consensus.
“The debate (on the expansion of the NSG) is moving towards what is going to be the criteria that can be accepted by consensus at the NSG,” said former permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva Zamir Akram.
Akram said the NSG was divided between the Chinese position that criteria for new members was already defined and requires the aspirant to be an NPT signatory, and the US stance that India being a like-minded country deserves to be included in the group. Between these two positions, there were countries that were seeking criteria other than the NPT consideration for accommodating India, he said.
The plenary session of the NSG in Seoul in June failed to achieve consensus on India’s admission for being a non-NPT country. Seoul communiqué had said that NSG members deliberated on “technical, legal and political aspects of the participation of non-NPT states in the NSG and decided to continue its discussion”. The US, which is having defence and nuclear cooperation deals with India, has been the main force behind Delhi’s NSG bid.
Akram said that the Indo-US nuclear deal and the subsequent NSG waiver for India had affected the region in terms of derailing the India-Pakistan dialogue on nuclear issues, destabilising regional security and undermining the global non-proliferation regime.
“The US acted irresponsibly without considering the long-term impact of their policies for the region,” he said.
Strategic Plans Division official Zahir Kazmi cautioned the US against supporting India’s alone entry into the NSG. “If the US continually pushes for India’s exclusive entry into the NSG, the bilateral relations with Pakistan would not be ‘business as usual. People of Pakistan would not accept such discrimination,” he said.
SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that India’s entry alone into the NSG would put back Pakistani efforts for developing its infrastructure and industry besides having serious consequences for national security and economic and industrial development.
He observed that the world in its obsession with India should not forget that India was one of the worst proliferators.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2016.
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