In­dia set to be­come ...

Pakistan Observer - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

hap­pen as early as on Mon­day, in a cer­e­mony to be at­tended by the MTCR chair troika — en­voys from France, Nether­lands and Lux­em­bourg. The MTCR chair troika com­prises the past, in­cum­bent and fu­ture chair of the group.

“Mem­ber­ship of one ex­port con­trol regime can be re­in­forc­ing on oth­ers, since In­dia’s cre­den­tials are vet­ted in one and the re­main­ing three can fol­low the ex­am­ple,” said an In­dian of­fi­cial.

In­dia’s ef­forts to be­come a mem­ber of the MTCR be­gan af­ter the Indo-US nu­clear deal in 2008. New Delhi has been keen to be­come a mem­ber of the four ex­port con­trol regimes — MTCR, NSG, Aus­tralia Group and Wasse­naar Ar­range­ment. But with the nu­clear deal stuck over li­a­bil­ity is­sues, New Delhi’s bid to be­come a mem­ber of MTCR only gained momentum from April 2015, af­ter the li­a­bil­ity is­sue was re­solved and the US lent its full sup­port.

The mem­bers of this in­ter­na­tional non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regime agreed to ad­mit In­dia early this month, co­in­cid­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s visit to the US.

Ad­mis­sion to MTCR will open the way for In­dia to buy high-end mis­sile tech­nol­ogy, also mak­ing more re­al­is­tic its as­pi­ra­tion to buy sur­veil­lance drones such as the Preda­tor, made by Gen­eral Atomics.

Af­ter be­com­ing a mem­ber of the MTCR, In­dia can hold the key to block­ing China’s mem­ber­ship in the fu­ture — a lever­age, many feel, could be used to get Bei­jing to lift its ob­jec­tions to In­dia’s mem­ber­ship to the NSG.

Es­tab­lished in April 1987 by G7 coun­tries (Canada, France, Ger­many, Italy, Ja­pan, Great Bri­tain and the US), the MTCR is an in­for­mal and vol­un­tary part­ner­ship to pre­vent pro­lif­er­a­tion of mis­siles and un­manned ae­rial ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing a 500-kg pay­load over 300 km or more.—INP

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