US backs In­dia for NSG spot, but China sees red Af­ter Gu­ru­gram, RSS for re­nam­ing 3 other cities

JOINT MOVE? Re­ports sug­gest China act­ing at the be­hest of its key ally Pak­istan

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ THE CHINA-PAK CON­NEC­TION THE US BACK­ING WHERE OTH­ERS STAND Sm­riti Kak Ra­machan­dran let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

The US has re­it­er­ated its back­ing for In­dia’s can­di­da­ture for the Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group af­ter China de­fended its move to block In­dia’s en­try on the ground that it had not signed on to a key global non­pro­lif­er­a­tion treaty.

Re­ports have sug­gested China is act­ing at the be­hest of its key ally Pak­istan to block In­dia’s ef­forts to join the 48-nation bloc, a move that will make it eas­ier ac­cess nu­clear tech­nol­ogy and know-how.

“I’d point you back to what (Pres­i­dent Barack Obama) said dur­ing his visit to In­dia in 2015, where he reaf­firmed that the US view was that In­dia meets mis­sile tech­nol­ogy con­trol regime re­quire­ments and is ready for NSG mem­ber­ship,” state depart­ment spokesman John Kirby said on Friday. He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion on the re­ports that China and Pak­istan have come to­gether to op­pose In­dia’s can­di­da­ture for the NSG.

“De­lib­er­a­tions about the prospects of new mem­bers join­ing the NSG are an in­ter­nal mat­ter among cur­rent mem­bers,” he said. “I’m go­ing to re­fer you to the gov­ern­ments of China and Pak­istan with re­spect to their po­si­tions on In­dia’s mem­ber­ship.”

Ear­lier on Friday, China said sev­eral NSG mem­bers shared its view that sign­ing the Nu­clear Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty (NPT) is an “im­por­tant stan­dard” for mem­ber­ship of the bloc. For­eign min­istry spokesman Lu Kang said China and other NSG mem­bers be­lieve the NPT is the cor­ner­stone for safe­guard­ing the global non­pro­lif­er­a­tion regime. He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion about re­ports that China is link­ing In­dia’s mem­ber­ship of the NSG to Pak­istan’s en­try.

The NSG is an im­por­tant part of NPT, and this has been the con­sen­sus of the world com­mu­nity, he said. Though In­dia is not part of the NSG, it recog­nises this con­sen­sus, he added. of the 48 “cur­rent mem­bers” of NSG and thus, can block In­dia’s en­try, Pak­istan can’t as a non-mem­ber. But Islamabad can piggyback ride China on this, as it tends to Obama had even ear­lier de­clared sup­port for In­dia join­ing the NSG and three other ex­clu­sive clubs of coun­tries deal­ing with sen­si­tive tech­nol­ogy dur­ing a state visit in 2010 and en­hanced mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties along the bor­der with In­dia, a top US mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said in an as­sess­ment that sug­gests Bei­jing is ramp­ing up its geopo­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions in the re­gion have backed In­dia too — the UK, France and Rus­sia, four of the five UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil per­ma­nent mem­ber. Only China con­tin­ues to op­pose it Congress on mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity de­vel­op­ments in China, the US depart­ment of de­fense noted that ten­sions re­mained along dis­puted por­tions of the Sino-In­dian bor­der.

Ahmed­abad might soon be known as Am­ra­vati, Hy­der­abad as Bhagyana­gar and Au­rangabad as Samb­ha­ji­na­gar, if the RSS has its way. The Sangh that was cru­cial in push­ing through Gur­gaon name change to Gu­ru­gram last month is now pre­par­ing for more such “re­ver­sals” to high­light their cul­ture and cleanse for­eign in­flu­ence. Crit­ics say the name changes are an at­tempt to re­write In­dia’s his­tory and ex­tend the Sangh’s cul­tural in­flu­ence.

The RSS has made such at­tempts in the past but its clout in the BJP — that rules Gujarat and Ma­ha­rash­tra — strengthen the pos­si­bil­ity of such changes be­ing ac­cepted by gov­ern­ments. RSS lead­ers be­lieve names of cities should be tied to their “his­tory and cul­ture” and the Sangh al­ready uses “his­toric names” to ad­dress these cities.

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