Inching Towards Inclusion
Modi’s calibrated diplomacy can compel Barack Obama to recommend India’s case for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG in Sight). India’s record on nuclear proliferation is impeccable. By contrast, Pakistan has been accused by US officials of supplying nuclear technology to North Korea for military purposes while a weekly there alleged scientist A.Q. Khan had meetings with Al Qaeda members. If China and Pakistan do thwart India’s chances of joining the NSG, then we might as well sign the NPT to clinch NSG membership. China is unimpressed with the merits of India’s application to the NSG and continues to argue on the technical point of only NPT signatories going on to become members. Despite Pakistan’s aggressive proliferation record, China insists on it being allowed in the group if India is. The only solution for New Delhi is to appease Beijing by adopting a give-and-take approach on niggling issues the two countries have had as emerging regional powers. nuclear catastrophe. about is the ambivalent clause listed by Lt Gen Khalid Kidwai (retd), which justifies the use of tactical nuclear weapons in case of economic damage caused to Pakistan by India. This has the potential to distract attention from the pressing domestic problems of our neighbour while doubling up as an insurance policy in case of a reduction in the Pakistani army’s budget allotment. Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons programme, the main motive behind its non-accession to the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, also places disproportionate responsibility in the hands of field-level commanders. China’s condemnable decision to support Pakistan’s position is further emboldening it. Modi’s recent meeting with Barack Obama was in the same vein as the previous six engagements, with the US desisting from speaking strongly against Pakistan and India getting to name its neighbour in the joint report. This time, the exchange went a step further and negotiations were initiated between Westinghouse and Nuclear Power Corporation for six nuclear reactors. While the government has been focusing on NSG, it has not discussed the implications of joining MTCR for India, such as restrictions.