No ex­clu­sive en­try into NSG

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - Dr Muham­mad Khan Email: drmk_edu@ya­hoo.com

IN one of his re­cent ar­ti­cle, en ti­tled; ‘Bei­jing could sup­port In­dia’s NSG ac­ces­sion path if it plays by rules’ Fu Xiao­qiang, a re­search fel­low of China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions (CICIR) said, “Be­com­ing a mem­ber of the NSG, a bloc that gov­erns civil­ian nu­clear trade world­wide, will grant In­dia global ac­cep­tance as a le­git­i­mate nu­clear power.” Grant­ing ex­clu­sive mem­ber­ship of Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group to In­dia would mean vi­o­lat­ing the NPT once again. It is worth men­tion­ing that, NSG was formed in 1974, se­quel to In­dian nu­clear test, the Smil­ing Bud­dha (Pokhran-I). It was the first nu­clear weapon test by any state, out­side the de­clared five nu­clear states and vi­o­la­tion of NPT. United States put the stip­u­la­tion, which per­mit only the NPT sig­na­to­ries to this elite club of the NPT. Now same coun­try (US) is ma­nip­u­lat­ing In­dian en­try into the NSG.

In­dia has been try­ing to be­come the mem­ber of this elite club for years now. Dur­ing his re­cent visit of Wash­ing­ton, Prime Min­is­ter Narindra Modi was able to get the blessing of US over its mem­ber­ship of NSG. How­ever, de­spite John Kerry’s spe­cial let­ter to all NSG mem­bers, ask­ing to favour In­dia for its en­try into this group; it seems less likely that, In­dia gets the mem­ber­ship of NSG. In the re­cent state­ment of the Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son, Hua Chun­y­ing China re­minded US about its ear­lier com­mit­ment of non-NPT states’ mem­ber­ship of NSG. Be­sides, Chi­nese spokesper­son also said that, Bei­jing never tar­geted any par­tic­u­lar coun­try nor asked for the ban on any­one state; In­dia or Pak­istan, but surely merit base and to fol­low the set rules, the group has de­signed for it­self. Should In­dia fol­low that, it could have been granted the mem­ber­ship of this club.

Af­ter US back­ing and be­fore the com­mence­ment of the Seoul Moot of the NSG this week, In­dian For­eign Sec­re­tary S Jais­hankar made a two days’ trip of the Bei­jing for gain­ing the Chi­nese con­sent for its mem­ber­ship on June 16-17. Be­sides, the In­dian Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter, Ms Swaraj also tried to im­press upon China and Pak­istan through her press con­fer­ence at New Delhi. She even said that, In­dia is not against the mem­ber­ship of Pak­istan in NSG and In­dia would like to re­sume the bi­lat­eral talks with Pak­istan.

In or­der to gar­ner Chi­nese sup­port, In­dian Premier is sched­uled to meet with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping on June 23, 2016, on the side­lines of the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO) meet­ing at Tashkent. Modi will also try to im­press upon Chi­nese Pres­i­dent as it did else­where in the world. How­ever, Chi­nese stance would likely to re­main un­changed. Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry has al­ready ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­clu­sive en­try of any par­tic­u­lar state while by pass­ing the ex­ist­ing rules of the NSG. It was also an­nounced from Bei­jing that, In­dian mem­ber­ship of NGS is not even on the agenda of the NSG be­ing held in Seoul on June 24, 2016.

Not China only, but over­all the forty-eight mem­bers of NSG are di­vided over the en­try of any coun­try into this club, with­out mak­ing amend­ments in the ex­ist­ing rules of Group. There is a room and the door is open for mem­ber­ship, how­ever, this need to build a con­sen­sus with­out any dis­crim­i­na­tion or favour to any par­tic­u­lar state. On its part, Wash­ing­ton has re­it­er­ated that, de­spite Chi­nese re­fusal to sup­port In­dia for the mem­ber­ship of NSG, US will con­tinue its back­ing of the New Delhi’s ap­pli­ca­tion for the NSG mem­ber­ship. In a way, US fol­low dou­ble stan­dard at global level on some of very se­ri­ous is­sues like nu­clear weapons.

Ear­lier it has paved the way for Indo-US Nu­clear Deal-2008, while vi­o­lat­ing the NPT and even its own Con­sti­tu­tion. Now, U.S still wants to go ahead with In­dian en­try into NSG in vi­o­la­tion of the NSG rules. In­deed, this will, “shake the strate­gic bal­ance in South Asia and even cast a cloud over peace and sta­bil­ity in the en­tire Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.” There is no doubt that, In­dian mem­ber­ship of the NSG will bring an end to the strate­gic bal­ance in South Asia, but, its NSG mem­ber­ship will also “jeop­ar­dize” China’s na­tional in­ter­est. Af­ter all US is sup­port­ing In­dia strate­gi­cally so that it can stand high against China and con­tain it too along­side Ja­pan in the Asia-Pa­cific. As per Chi­nese me­dia, “Against the back­drop of Wash­ing­ton’s ac­cel­er­ated pace of pro­mot­ing its pivot to the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, it will be highly likely to keep sup­port­ing New Delhi’s nu­clear am­bi­tions, in or­der to make it a stronger power to con­tain China.” This in­deed, is a strate­gic con­ver­gence be­tween US and In­dia and to at­tain that, US would like to by­pass the in­ter­na­tional norms and rules, which were for­mu­lated by her along with other stake­hold­ers. In­dian en­try will be very se­ri­ous for Pak­istan, touch­ing “raw nerve” and equally dan­ger­ous for China. As per Global Times, “If it joins the group, New Delhi will be able to im­port civil­ian nu­clear tech­nol­ogy and fu­els from the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket more con­ve­niently, while sav­ing its do­mes­tic nu­clear ma­te­ri­als for mil­i­tary use.” Not for the sake of Pak­istan, but for its own sake and for main­tain­ing re­gional peace in Asia in par­tic­u­lar and global peace at large China and other mem­ber states of NSG have to re­sist the In­dian en­try in to this club. In­deed, un­der the agenda of RSS, the Hindu fun­da­men­tal­ist group, In­dia is pur­su­ing an agenda of re­gional dom­i­na­tion and be­com­ing ma­jor world power.

The worst de­signs, In­dia is pur­su­ing to shrink the space for the mi­nori­ties in In­dia, which con­sti­tute bulk of In­dian pop­u­la­tion. Mus­lims alone con­sti­tute over 15% of In­dian pop­u­la­tion. Be­sides, In­dia has adopted a pol­icy of ri­val­ries with all its neigh­bour­ing states, not ac­cept­ing the In­dian dom­i­na­tion. Strate­gi­cally, In­dia has started en­cir­cling Pak­istan and con­tain­ing China. With NSG mem­ber­ship and strate­gic part­ner­ship with US, In­dia will get fur­ther lever­age to ex­ploit its neigh­bours and pave the way for its ma­jor power sta­tus. Should the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity al­low such con­ces­sions to a Hindu ex­trem­ist coun­try, which un­der RSS Hin­dutva ide­ol­ogy is all set to con­vert In­dia as eth­nic Hindu State, away from in­ter­na­tional norms of sec­u­lar­ism? There­fore, let there be no ex­clu­sive en­try of any coun­try into elite club of NSG. — The writer is In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions an­a­lyst based in Is­lam­abad.

Should the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity al­low such con­ces­sions to a Hindu ex­trem­ist coun­try, which un­der RSS Hin­dutva ide­ol­ogy is all set to con­vert In­dia as eth­nic Hindu State, away from in­ter­na­tional norms of sec­u­lar­ism? There­fore, let there be no ex­clu­sive en­try of any coun­try into elite club of NSG.

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