Sentiments rising against India joining NSG
AS Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a lobbying mission to win support for his country’s ambitious target of joining the elite club of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China is leading the states that are opposed to the move on the basis of principles adding that decision in this regard should be criteria based and not country-specific. Most of the hold-outs oppose the idea of admitting a non-NPT state including India and argue that if it is to be admitted, it should be under the criteria that apply equally to all states rather than under a ‘tailor-made’ solution for a US ally.
It is quite evident that the objective of non-proliferation cannot be achieved by adopting double standards and that is why China, Turkey, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and Austria are opposing American-led campaign to grant admission to India into NSG. As part of its strategy to bolster India’s capability and prestige vis-à-vis China, the United States is going out of the way to accommodate India as member of the Group. Washington has not only assured its own support to New Delhi in this regard but taken solid measures in a bid to remove road-blocks in this regard. Secretary of State John Kerry has not only addressed a letter to all 48 members of the NSG requesting them not to oppose Indian request for membership but is also visiting Beijing to convince China to drop its opposition. By doing so, the United States has given a crude message that it has no respect for transparency and criteria based approach to sensitive issues and that it can go to any extent to please its new-found ally India. It is because of similar reasons that Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, who is generally perceived to be a cool-minded leader, has been forced to remark that US is a selfish friend. US move runs contrary to Pakistan’s security interests and is in sharp contrast to the clear cut policy of China which has urged the world community to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty. Both Pakistan and India have applied for membership of the NSG and it is to be seen whether members stick to principles or succumb to American pressure and persuasion on June 20 when the issue of membership is to be taken up.