The media in recent weeks has gone bollocks over the prospect of India’s entry in the NSG. It is not just the media but half the world that is talking about India’s aspiring bid to enter this elite group.
Here is everything you need to know about this ambitious Indian project.
What is Nuclear Suppliers Group?
NSG is a club of 48 nations that controls the export of material, equipment, technology and manufacturing of nuclear weapons in the world. They are the big daddies of the nuclear world.
All nuclear trading norms are set by the NSG. It is they who decide which country get to keep their nuclear toys and which does not.
Why is it important for India?
India needs to expand its nuclear sector. Although India already has a waiver to trade with NSG nations it needs to legally enter the group to broaden its N-horizon.
Majority nations already support India’s entry into the group. Countries like Mexico and Switzerland have agreed to India being a part of NSG. The biggest boost to India’s bid came when United States also agreed to include India into the group.
India has for long been a member of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) that aims to restrict the production of missile nukes by other nations. India hopes that her membership of MTCR will help its bid.
The roadblocks India faces
India’s neighbours Pakistan and China are staunchly resisting India’s entry into NSG. No country is allowed admittance unless all 48 nations agree to it. Refusal of even one nation will mean that India fails to enter NSG.
The Pakistani argument is that giving India easy access to fissile material and technology for its civilian nuclear programme will mean that it would have nuclear material for its military.
Pakistan says that the move to give India NSG membership is like fuelling a nuclear arms race.
In the last press conference, Pakistani officials said that they believe their credentials are stronger than India hence, it is Pakistan that should be considered for the membership.
However, it is India’s non-NPT membership that is the actual bone of contention. For non-NPT members China wants a separate criterion to be framed to which India disagrees.
The Chinese government released its first statement a few hours ago saying that NSG membership will touch ‘raw nerve’ with Pakistan and endanger China.
Although Turkey, New Zealand, Austria and South Africa haven’t officially announced their support it is expected that they too will support India. This will mean that China will be left alone and isolation might force China to change its mind.
Here’s to hoping that overcoming all difficulties, India enters NSG as its member.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.