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Nuke club NSG draft rule may allow India in, leave Pakistan out: Report

Washington: A draft proposal for accepting new members into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) paves the way for India’s entry but leaves Pakistan out, says a US-based arms control organisation. The Arms Control Association (ACA), Washington, also warns that relaxing membership rules will undermine non-proliferation.

Last week, the US media reported that Rafael Mariano Grossi, a former chairman of the NSG, had prepared a two-page document, explaining how a non-Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) state, like India and Pakistan, could join the group. Grossi was acting on behalf of the current chairman, Song Young-wan of South Korea, and his document enjoys a semi-official status, Dawn reported.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

To prevent India from blocking Pakistan from joining the NPT, Grossi’s draft note proposes that “one non-NPT member state should reach an understanding not to block consensus on membership for another non-NPT member state”.

But ACA’s Executive Director Daryl Kimball warns that “Pakistan still has grounds to object to the formula outlined by Grossi”.

He explains that the document will require Pakistan to meet the same criteria for membership as India “but, to engage in civil nuclear trade with NSG states, it would have to win a separate NSG exemption from the full-scope safeguards requirement”.

India is seeking membership of the NSG on the strength of the fact that it is already doing business with NSG members.

The 48-nation NSG is a nuclear technology control organisation formed in 1975 in response to India’s first nuclear weapons test, which used plutonium produced with nuclear technology from Canada and the US. The NSG seeks to prevent similar future misuses.

Current NSG membership rules require a state to sign the nuclear NPT before joining this exclusive club. India remains one of only three countries, with Israel and Pakistan, never to have signed the NPT. Earlier this year, India formally applied for membership and was followed by Pakistan. The US, and a host of other powerful western nations, back India’s application, but China and half a dozen other nations are blocking India’s membership, which requires a consensus of all members.

India hoped to join the group during NSG’s last plenary session, held in Seoul in June this year, but the meeting ended without taking any decision on New Delhi’s application.

First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 11:18 IST

China sticks to its stand on JeM chief Masood Azhar despite NIA chargesheet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s move to charge sheet Masood Azhar in the Pathankot terror attack appears to have not made much impact on China as Beijing today said any move by New Delhi to bring about a UN ban on the JeM chief must be in line with rules and procedures laid down by the Security Council.”On the question of listing in the 1267 Committee, I have expressed the Chinese position many times,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told PTI in response to a question on NIA listing Azhar, the head of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, as terrorist in the charge sheet on the attack on an air force base in Pathankot in January this year.”Listing in the 1267 Committee must be in line with the relevant resolutions of the UNSC and the rules of procedure of the Committee,” Hua said in a written reply here.
ALSO READ After Pathankot, JeM chief Masood Azhar owns up Nagrota attackNIA on Monday filed a charge sheet against Azhar, his brother and two others for hatching the conspiracy of the attack that killed seven personnel and injured 37 others.Hua’s reply came as China’s second technical hold in the UN blocking India’s move to list Azhar as a terrorist under the 1267 committee rules of the UNSC is set to expire towards the end of this month.
ALSO READ Pathankot airbase attack: NIA files chargesheet, names Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood AzharOn March 31, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India’s move to impose a ban on Azhar under the Sanctions Committee of the Council.China was the only member in the 15-nation UN body to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.Officials here say that India may have to apply again to the 1267 committee with the charge sheet details to press for its case as its present application will lapse following Beijing’s two technical holds.The two countries have been holding talks on China’s blocking Azhar’s case as well as India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).The talks appears to have not made much headway as China on December 12 said there is no change in both the cases.”As for India s application for Nuclear Suppliers Group and listing issue pursuant to resolution of 1267 (to list Azhar as terrorist) China’s position remains unchanged,” another Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said.His assertion that China’s stand remained unchanged in both NSG and Azhar’s cases was made while answering a question on Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks last week at India-China think tank forum in New Delhi that China should not give a political colour to New Delhi’s efforts to access civilian nuclear technology, in reference to Beijing’s opposition to its NSG bid.Jaishankar had also expressed dismay over the two countries not being able to come together on the issue at critical international forums, a reference to China blocking the ban in the UN on Azhar.

India’s NSG entry: Pakistan wary of exemptions in admission process

Islamabad: Pakistan is encouraged by growing support in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for establishing criteria for membership of non-NPT countries, but are wary of “big powers” pressurising smaller countries into granting exemptions for India in the admission process, media reported on Wednesday.

“There are a lot of countries that now recognise the need for a criteria-based approach rather than granting exemptions, but pressures are still being exerted on smaller countries,” Dawn quoted Kamran Akhtar, Director General of Disarmament at the Foreign Office, as saying.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“We are pretty confident that NSG countries would not go down the exemption way, but if they ultimately do so and give exemption to India, there would be serious repercussions not just for Pakistan, but also for other non-nuclear weapon states that may feel being unjustly denied their right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” Akhtar said.

He said it was now up to NSG countries to decide if they wanted the group to be seen as being driven by political and commercial interests or else they would want non-proliferation goals to be strengthened.

The official warned that strategic stability in South Asia would be undermined if Pakistani application was not treated equally with the Indian case.

“Pakistan wants to deny India space for war and create a space for peace. Its (Pakistan’s) weapons are for maintaining peace in the region and for deterrence,” said Khalid Banuri, Director General of Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs.

Additional Secretary to Foreign Office Tasneem Aslam said the issue of membership of non-NPT countries was deeply linked to strategic stability in South Asia.

“… the NSG stands at crossroads, once again, as it considers membership for non-NPT states. An even-handed and non-discriminatory approach by the NSG at this juncture would be of far-reaching significance for strategic stability in South Asia and global non-proliferation efforts,” she said and recalled, the NSG had missed in 2008 the opportunity to promote adherence to non-proliferation regime by granting waiver to India.

First Published On : Dec 14, 2016 13:54 IST

How will PM Modi tackle China, asks Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Party on Tuesday asked how Prime Minister Narendra Modi will tackle China after it categorically stated that it will not change its position on India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers? Group or on designating Masood Azhar as a terrorist.”China’s adamant attitude on the issue of infamous terrorist Masood Azhar and India entry into the NSG is worrisome,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said.”The country wants to know how the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will tackle this issue,” he added.He further questioned as to why the Indian government not taking a tough stand on this and why the Prime Minister is unable to talk to his Chinese counterpart about the same.Surjewala asked, “India is a responsible nuclear power, then, why is China objecting to its membership? And, how will you (India) gather other countries on your side.”On Monday, China said there was no shift in its position either on New Delhi’s inclusion in the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or on imposition of UN sanctions on the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Masood Azhar.

Cyclone Vardah: Govt taking all precautions at Kalpakkam nuclear power plant in Kancheepuram

New Delhi: Government has taken all precautions for the safety of Kalpakkam nuclear power plant as Tamil Nadu faces a severe cyclonic storm Vardah on Monday.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“All precautions are taken at nuclear plant Kalpakkam to face Vardah. So far all is well and plant operation is normal. The plant is in touch with the India Meteorological Department,” the National Disaster Management Authority said in a statement.

Kalpakkam is in Kancheepuram, which along with Chennai, Tiruvallur and Villupuram in northern Tamil Nadu, has been pounded by heavy rainfall and high velocity winds.

The Nuclear power Corporation of India-run power plant has two operational units which produces 440 MW power while another plant of 500 MW is undergoing construction.

The wind speed of cyclone Vardah reached 110-120 kmph as the landfall process began.

People are advised to remain in safe places and cooperate with state government officials and disaster management agencies, the NDMA said.

As many as 19 team of National Disaster Response Force (one team comprises of 35 personnel) have been deployed in coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to deal with any situation arising out of the cyclone’s landfall.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into sea along and off south Andhra Pradesh, north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts during next two days.

So far 7,354 people from Tamil Nadu living in areas of possible landfall have been shifted to safer places and kept in 54 relief centres.

First Published On : Dec 12, 2016 14:48 IST

India seeks details of working reactors from US, French firms as proof of efficacy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has asked American and French nuclear companies, which propose to build atomic plants in the country, to furnish details of functional reactors designed by them as proof of their efficacy.Sources said French company EDF and US firm Westinghouse are still not ready with fully operational “reference plants”, a pre-requisite before a final General Framework Agreement could be signed with these entities.The EDF proposes to build six nuclear European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) of 1650 MW each in Jaitapur and Westinghouse another set of six AP1000 reactors in Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh with an individual capacity of 1000 MW.A senior government official said designs presented by the two companies are new, so even the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) wants to see how the technology works.”We have told them to show a reference nuclear plant, which is functional and produces electricity. On paper, the designs of these companies look nice, but we should also know whether they work well or not. This will also help in getting clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, the nuclear watchdog in the country,” the official said.India specialises in Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors while the one which foreign companies are building are Light Water Reactors (LWRs) with some distinction from one another.Interestingly, the Russian have built Kudankulam units one and two, a VVER technology.The EDF, which is now negotiating with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), said it had given Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant 3 as the reference plant.The French government-owned company said the Flamanville plant with a capacity of 1630 MW should be operational by next year.However, sources said it might take a tad longer for the plant to become operational.EDF is also building another EPR reactor Taishan in China and that is expected to be commissioned before Flamanville.The company, which took over the reactor component of another French company Areva that was initially involved in discussion with the NPCIL, is building two more EPR plants in Hinkley Point in England.The government official added that the NPCIL is hoping that by the time the negotiations are finalised, both these companies are in a position to showcase a reference plant.Currently, discussions are being held techno-commercial at level with both these companies.

India’s No First Use policy on nuclear weapons ‘ambiguous’: Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Friday described as “ambiguous” India’s ‘No First Use’ policy on nuclear weapons and said it cannot be a substitute for verifiable arms control and restraint measures, days Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar questioned the doctrine.”Pakistan believes the ambiguous ‘No First Use’ Declaration is not verifiable and amounts to nothing. It can’t be a substitute for verifiable arms control and restraint measures proposed by Pakistan’s standing offer of Strategic Restraint Regime,” Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in his weekly briefing. He was responding to the recent remarks by Parrikar in which he asked why India cannot say “we are a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly” instead of affirming a “no first use policy”. Later he had said the remarks were personal in nature.Zakaria said statement by the defence minister of a country that repeatedly and constantly heightens tension and maintains an aggressive posture should be a matter of concern for all. He said signing of nuclear deals by some countries is a matter of concern as it is only reinforcing arrogance and belligerence with which India conducts itself in the region and beyond, in an indirect reference to Indo-Japan nuclear deal.Zakaria also said Pakistan established itself as a serious candidate for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), increasing number of countries were supporting the non-discriminatory approach.”There is also growing recognition of the fact that 2008 exemption to India neither benefited non-proliferation regime nor objective of strategic stability in South Asia,” he said.The spokesman expressed the confidence that members of the NSG would bear in mind the need to prevent further erosion of non-proliferation regime and preserving credibility of the NSG as a rule-based organisation. He said Pakistan has expressed its openness to measures for strengthening non-proliferation objectives to the NSG, which included proposal for binding bilateral agreement with India on non-testing.

Kashmir dispute ‘hinders’ $46 billion China-Pakistan corridor: Chinese media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Admitting perhaps for the first time that Kashmir dispute “does hinder” the US $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, a state media report on Friday said that this does not mean China should “appease” India to prevent it from playing “little tricks”.”The dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan does hinder China’s efforts in pushing the (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) forward, but this does not mean China should ‘appease India’ to prevent the country from playing little tricks,” said the article in the Global Times – part of the People’s Daily group of the ruling Communist Party of China.It said “India should be aware that its ambition of becoming a great power won’t be realised if it contributes little to promoting regional integration and regional economic development.”The article was in response to a piece by US-based analyst Panos Mourdoukoutas in Forbes magazine yesterday criticising Beijing over the ambitious project. The Forbes piece has said that China has done “very little to appease India.” The daily has regularly carried articles critical to India for the past few months. Today’s was, however, a rare admission that the Kashmir dispute hinders the CPEC project, which runs through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).India has expressed reservations over the project that links western China to Gwadar Port in the restive Balochistan province in southern Pakistan. The project gives China easy access for trade to Central Asian states and European markets.China has defended the project, saying it is a commercial project aimed at improving people’s lives.In the Forbes piece, Mourdoukoutas said that “China should make peace with India for forget about the project”.He said China desperately needs CPEC. It’s part of China’s vision “to write the rules of the next stage of globalisation” and help its export and investment engines grow for years.”So far, China has done very little to appease India. In fact, it has done quite the opposite: repeatedly blocking India’s efforts to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” he said.”And things could turn worse, if pro-Indian forces in Pakistan sabotage China’s CPEC route. That raises the possibility of an open confrontation between China and Pakistan on the one side, and India and its allies on the other,” he said.Countering Mourdoukoutas, the Chinese media article said, “India’s strategic suspicions toward China’s rising presence in South Asia may hobble its ambition to be a great power, even though some observers think otherwise.” The CPEC “does not target India, and we believe that China’s efforts to improve infrastructure in Pakistan have no intention of supporting the country’s dispute with India,” it said. It said China has made efforts to boost regional economic integration with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar.”However, as a strategic location connecting East Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, India’s poor infrastructure is a challenge for Asian nations to become interconnected.Although China has offered an olive branch to India to help upgrade its infrastructure facilities, it seems that India is reluctant to participate in the initiative. Additionally, New Delhi’s suspicions toward China have left the country vigilant as Beijing strengthens ties with India’s neighbours,” it said.”Some neighbouring countries have not benefited significantly from India’s rapid economic growth. This will hamper New Delhi in improving its regional influence,” it said.”However, India cannot hinder China’s efforts in promoting regional integration. Additionally, Asian countries like Pakistan keep a positive attitude toward Chinese efforts to improve infrastructure in the region.””If India still holds suspicions toward China and excludes itself from the moves of promoting regional integration, the country will perhaps end up simply watching China’s influence among its neighbouring countries rise,” it claimed.

India made no additional commitments to Japan for nuclear deal: MEA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Thursday asserted that the termination clause in the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) with Japan was nothing “new” and that New Delhi had made no additional commitments to clinch the deal other than what it had committed itself to while declaring a unilateral moratorium on testing nuclear weapons in 2008.He also insisted that all clauses in the NCA were binding on the two parties. However, the circumstances of termination, by their very nature, are not specifiable in the NCA and a comprehensive reading of the entirety of the provision to understand the hypothetical possibilities as well as the mitigating circumstances and consequences was required, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Sawrup said. “India appreciates the special sensitivities of Japan on nuclear issues. It was felt that a note on views expressed by the Japanese side in the above context could be recorded.Such a record, to be balanced, also needed an accurate depiction of India s position. “The ‘Note on Views and Understanding’ reiterates the commitments that India made in September 2008. No change is envisaged from those commitments and no additional commitments have been made by India,” Swarup added. He was asked about the termination clause in the Indo- Japan NCA and if India had made any exemptions while inking the deal. The NCA was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan last week.”The NCA, in fact, has a specific article (No. 14) devoted to termination and cessation of cooperation in certain circumstances. This is not new and is similar, in fact almost identical, to the provision in the US Agreement. “Any suggestion that the termination clause in the NCA is not binding on India is factually incorrect. All clauses of the NCA are binding on both parties,” Swarup said.He further said that what must be appreciated is that the NCA opens up new avenues of civil nuclear energy cooperation with international partners. This will help rapidly expand the non-fossil fuel segment of energy production and contribute to India keeping its commitments under the Paris Agreement, he added.

India’s NSG bid: China must give in to its peers in elite group or risk isolation

On 11 November, the Nuclear Suppliers Group met in Vienna to discuss the membership of the Non-Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) countries. As the meeting took place under the shadow of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan where the historic India-Japan civil nuclear energy deal was signed, the Indian media did not report or give even reasonable coverage to the meeting. Interestingly, the run-up to the 11 November 2016 meeting of the NSG had some media coverage. The June 2016 plenary meeting of the NSG had got massive coverage.

The NSG logo. Image courtesy NSG websiteThe NSG logo. Image courtesy NSG website

The NSG logo. Image courtesy NSG website

Besides, a section of the media discussed Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s personal statement on nuclear doctrine. The NSG secretariat and the website also did not tell much about the meeting. So, as usual, very limited information on the NSG meeting is available. The release of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, gave some idea of the action in the meeting.

Earlier in a conference of the European Union Consortium on Nonproliferation and Disarmament, the Argentinian ambassador Rafael Mariano Grossi, the outgoing chair of the NSG who has been appointed the facilitator by the current chair of the NSG, had this to say about the 11 November meeting.

“… what we are looking for is something which is of general application. We are not working on the basis of Country A or Country B or Country C. We are working on something that, if successful, it is a big if because it is a big issue and the problems are big. If successful, this is not something which is going to be for the benefit of Country A or for the benefit of Country B or for the benefit of Country C. It is, if I may put it like this, an attempt to address the challenge or the question put to the group by the existence of three non-NPT countries which actively aspire to become members of the NSG. This is as much as I think I could say,” Grossi told the conference when a participant asked whether the 11 November meeting would complete a two-stage or two step process for deciding the membership of the non-NPT countries.

What the two-stage process meant was that in the first stage criteria or principles for the membership of the NPT would be decided and in the second stage, the individual country’s application for the membership will be decided. He told that there was nothing called ‘a two-step or stage process’ designated by the NSG, but he admitted that in practice, something like this was happening.

So, what really happened on 11 November 2016 and what were the member countries or the participant governments of the NSG expecting to happen? Grossi informed that he had undertaken the consultation process as per the desire of the present chair and participating governments of the NSG to build a consensus about new members. Of course, India is a prime candidate whether spoken openly or not. Quite significantly, the consultation process of the facilitator has demonstrated ‘a massive interest in all Participating Governments’.

That the meeting of 11 November was convened to discuss membership of non-NPT countries has been endorsed by even China which is seen opposing India’s membership on technical grounds. It issued a press release informing that on 11 November, NSG met in Vienna “to discuss ‘Technical, Legal and Political Aspects of Non-NPT States’ Participation in the NSG’, in accordance with the mandate adopted by the Seoul Plenary in June this year.” The release noted that China along with several countries had submitted papers regarding the membership of the Non-NPT countries. It stated that China’s participation was constructive and ‘contributed its substantive inputs’.

The Chinese government also observed that for the first time in the history of the NSG (ever since it had been formed in 1975), the issue of the membership of the non-NPT countries had been taken up ‘in an open and transparent manner.’ It is not clear what China wants to convey. If it indicates openness and transparency regarding proceedings of the NSG meet, it may be debatable. If it means that for the first time the matter of non-NPT countries was taken, it is a distortion of the NSG history.

It is an open secret that the NSG was formed to bring a non-NPT country like France into a control framework. This fact can be endorsed not only by diplomats who had participated in the process of the formation of the NSG but also by available archival materials. Leave alone a number of articles in journals and newspapers and several books on the subject. In fact, available archival materials in the US and Canadian libraries also inform that a non-NPT country like India, which had conducted Peaceful Nuclear Explosion in 1974, was also considered for the NSG membership in the very beginning.

The outcome of the 11 November NSG meeting, if the Chinese press release is to be believed, remained inconclusive. For China, the convening of this meeting was necessary for taking the first step of the two-step process. The release further notes that “China supports the continuation of this open and transparent inter-governmental process, in accordance with relevant rules of the Group, and to ensure a solid first step taken towards an early formula on the above issue, so that the Group can proceed to the second step of taking up country specific membership application by non-NPT states at an early date.” The statement implies that even the first step of formulating principles is to be completed before considering any individual application.

The most intriguing part of the release reflecting the Chinese thinking is “any formula worked out should be non-discriminatory and applicable to all non-NPT states; without prejudice to the core value of the NSG and the effectiveness, authority and integrity of the international non-proliferation regime with the NPT as its cornerstone; and without contradicting the customary international law in the field of non-proliferation.”

It is a common knowledge that China is playing the Pakistani card to block India’s entry into the Group. Jane’s Group and the King’s College London published a report highlighting the dubious proliferation track record of Pakistan. Several reports on the Pakistani proliferation network are already in the public domain. The entire world knows what Pakistan is doing with non-proliferation norm and practices. In fact, about a year ago, an American Congress Committee discussed the idea of a 2008 India type waiver to Pakistan, and overwhelmingly, the committee rejected the idea. China knows it fully well that Pakistan needs more than the two-stage process for the NSG membership.

What is going to happen next? India is going to get the membership soon. The signal emitting from other member countries suggest that China is being forced to decide. Apparently, in the 11 November meeting, the leading countries of the NSG conveyed China the cost of resisting India’s membership. Before conveying this, seemingly, some of the countries, which in principle support India’s membership but had participated in the discussion led by China in the Seoul Plenary for evolving criteria for non-NPT members, were asked to join the consensus. Now it appears that there is a solid block minus China supporting India’s membership for the NSG. The idea was to isolate China completely.

The reading between the lines of the Chinese press release tips off that even China has started reconciling about membership of the NSG to a non-NPT country like India. It may take an extra meeting or two of the NSG to finalise India’s membership. India should continue its bilateral discussions with China and communicate that a cooperative, not confronting approach with India is the need of the hour for global and Asian governance.

First Published On : Nov 15, 2016 20:48 IST

India needs review of nuclear policy, but Parrikar’s public comment was avoidable: Uday Bhaskar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar made a public statement about India’s no first use (NFU) policy, the line between public and personal got blurred, says senior policy expert C Uday Bhaskar. According to him, the Defence Minister’s statement was extremely unusual, considering PM Modi was in Japan at that time inking a civil nuclear deal. Parrikar sparked a row on Thursday by questioning India’s ‘no first use’ nuclear policy. He said, “Why should I bind myself? I should say I am a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly. This is my (personal) thinking,” Parrikar said replying to a question as he explained the need to be unpredictable in warfare strategy. Taking a dig at the media, Parrikar said they would publish that the nuclear policy has changed. “It has not changed in government. It is my concept. As an individual, I also get a feeling. I am not saying you have to use it first. Hoax can be called off,” he said, adding that prior to the surgical strike, Pakistan Defence Minister used to threaten India with the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons.DNA spoke to C Uday Bhaskar, director of Society for Policy Studies, New Delhi about the possible ramifications of Parrikar’s comments. When asked if India needs to review its nuclear policy, Bhaskar said, “India’s NFU policy that was adopted during NDA I led by PM Vajpayee in May 1998 is in need of review – particularly in the light of the fact that over the last 18 years, the contour of India’s WMD capability, including command and control, and the regional security situation has undergone a change. But this review ought to be done within the CCS (cabinet committee on security) with appropriate professional inputs from the military”.He was of the opinion that such a review shouldn’t be triggered by remarks at a public event – more so when PM Modi was in Japan securing a major nuclear agreement. While Parrikar and the Defence Ministry later clarified unequivocally that it was his personal view, yet the ex-Goa CM’s comments have created a flutter in India’s political circle. Most parties including main opposition Congress criticised Parrikar’s off the cuff remark, saying greater restrain should be shown by him and any change in India’s nuclear doctrine must be a well thought out one. Regarding any possible fallout of Parrikar’s statement, Bhaskar said, “The nuclear issue is something on which every citizen has a right to express a view. It’s destructive potential is apocalyptic. We in India surely do not want another Hiroshima – or for that matter another Fukushima. So to that extent Mr Parrikar, as he said at the event – was fully justified in articulating his personal views. My only observation is about the sensitivity of the issue – NUCLEAR ; the context – the PM is in Japan; and the fact that when the Indian Defence Minister makes a public statement on an issue like this – the line between the personal and the official gets blurred. It could have been avoided to my mind – and the fact that the MoD quickly issued a statement is case in point. This may have been to firewall the ramifications.” However, Uday Bhaskar doesn’t believe that Parrikar’s comment will mar India’s NSG chances. According to him, India’s bid is blocked by China and they are not linking India’s NFU to its objection apropos the Indian NSG membership application. However, India’s nuclear cooperation with other countries may take a hit as India’s nuclear restraint has been its USP. Any review and subsequent alteration may change that dynamic, according to strategy affairs expert Uday Bhaskar. Bhaskar also said, “The whole issue of introducing irrationality and unpredictability was elucidated in some detail by Henry Kissinger in the late 1950’s – when he was a young academic. Parrikar’s remarks will definitely catalyse interest in this formulation about how India should invoke unpredictability or opacity – but this must be done in an astute manner so that it meets the challenges of crisis-stability – which Rawalpindi wants to ‘threaten’.”With agency inputs

India-Japan nuclear deal, bullet trains: 10 highlights of PM Modi’s visit to the island nation

Cementing bilateral ties in leaps and bounds, India and Japan on Friday signed a landmark civil nuclear agreement in Tokyo in the presence of visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his host and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his ceremonial welcome in Tokyo on Friday. PTIPrime Minister Narendra Modi with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his ceremonial welcome in Tokyo on Friday. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his ceremonial welcome in Tokyo on Friday. PTI

The Indian premier is on a three-day visit to Japan. This is his second visit to Tokyo in as many years.

1. According to reports, after this deal is being implemented Japan can export nuclear technology to India giving it an edge over its neighbours so far as the use of civil nuclear energy is concerned.

2. The deal was put on hold after talks were held last year in December as some issues were to be ironed out. PM Modi was keen on this deal as it would better India’s chances of getting into the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), according to a report in Firstpost.

3. According to a NDTV report, this deal makes India the first non-NPT signatory to ink a nuclear pact with Japan. The fact that this agreement has taken place with Japan is indicative of the fact that the two countries have shared a mutually respectful relationship over the years despite differences with regard to the nuclear policy that both the countries have. According to the Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) bilateral relations brief, Japan’s ‘friendliness’ towards India was tested in 1991, after it bailed India out of its balance of payments crisis.

4. The India-Japan civil nuclear deal will be watched closely by China as Beijing shares territorial concerns with both New Delhi and Tokyo. This deal has come at a time when China is increasingly looking to expand its footprint in the South China Sea. What US President-elect Donald Trump in mind regarding his South Asia policy is also likely to keep China on its toes.

5. Japan is the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack. It has sought assurances from New Delhi that it would not conduct nuclear tests in the future. India first conducted nuclear tests in 1974 which was code named ‘Smiling Buddha’. A series of nuclear tests were conducted again in 1998 known as the Pokhran-II.

6. India had signed a landmark nuclear deal with the US in 2008. Pakistan too demanded for a similar deal then but America rejected the offer and explained India’s case as an ‘exception.’ It can be expected that Pakistan may demand a similar deal with China. But will China pay heed? One has to wait and watch.

7. India aims to ramp up nuclear capacity ten-fold by 2032 and is in negotiations with Westinghouse Electric, owned by Japan’s Toshiba. The nuclear deal augurs well for India as ties with Japan will strengthen.

8. India plans to build six nuclear plants in the south. The nuclear deal takes India a step further in this direction. Japan’s technical know how and superior expertise will help India in setting up the plants.

9. PM Modi’s visit to japan wasn’t about the nuclear deal alone. The Indian PM, accompanied by Shinzo Abe, will travel to Kobe by the Shinkansen bullet train. The same technology will be deployed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway.

10. Japan and China are in an intense battle for gaining supremacy in the field of bullet trains. PM Modi’s visit to Tokyo is further expected to fuel the competition. India expects co-operation from Japan for developing bullet trains. India has no bullet trains, yet.

First Published On : Nov 11, 2016 20:29 IST

Japan to supply India with nuclear power equipment, technology | Reuters

Japan to supply India with nuclear power equipment, technology | Reuters

Updated: Nov 11, 2016 20:24 IST

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By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Elaine Lies
| TOKYO

TOKYO Japan and India signed a civilian nuclear accord on Friday, opening the door for Tokyo to supply New Delhi with fuel, equipment and technology for nuclear power production, as India looks to atomic energy to sustain its rapid economic growth.(Narendra Modi in Japan, see pictures here)It was the first time Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, had concluded such a pact with a country that is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).”Today’s signing … marks a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a joint news conference with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. The accord stipulates that the nuclear fuel and equipment provided can only be used for peaceful purposes, and a separate document signed in parallel has a clause allowing Japan to terminate the pact if India conducts a nuclear test.”As a sole nation to have been nuclear-bombed, we bear the responsibility for leading the international community towards the realisation of a world without nuclear weapons,” Abe told the same news conference.

“The agreement is a legal framework to ensure that India will act responsibly for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It will also lead us to having India participate practically in the international non-proliferation regime.”India says the NPT is discriminatory and that it has concerns about its two nuclear-armed neighbours, China and Pakistan.India is already in advanced negotiations to have U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric, owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp, build six nuclear reactors in southern India, part of New Delhi’s plan to ramp up nuclear capacity more than 10 times by 2032.

Japanese nuclear plant makers such as Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd are desperate to expand their business overseas as the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster chilled domestic demand for new nuclear plants.The agreement with Japan follows a similar one with the United States in 2008, which gave India access to nuclear technology after decades of isolation.That step was seen as the first big move to build India into a regional counterweight to China.

On India’s infrastructure development, Abe said that construction of a high-speed railway connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which will be based on Japan’s “Shinkansen” bullet train technology, was scheduled to start in 2018, with commercial operation slated for 2023.”In Japan, the era of high economic growth began when Shinkansen started its service in 1964. I hope the advent of high-speed railway will trigger fresh economic growth in India as well,” Abe said.Modi earlier on Friday praised the “growing convergence” of views between his nation and Japan, saying strong ties would enable them to play a stabilising role in Asia and the world. (Editing by Nick Macfie and Kevin Liffey)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Nov 11, 2016 20:24 IST

Trump presidency may be a mixed bag for India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The stunning and largely unforeseen victory of Donald Trump as the 45th US president poses new and formidable challenges to India’s foreign policy and security establishment as well as to its economy, business and industry.The situation calls for quick reflexes on the foreign policy front followed by more studied responses to issues such as the new administration’s impact on the IT and pharmaceutical sectors and H1B visas, on which it is too early to expect clarity at this stage.There would be much interest in India’s first responses to a Trump presidency, which is expected to find expression in some form during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s summit meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Nov 10 and 11. The post-summit statement would be read as a message to Trump as well as to Beijing. At the same time, what is stated in Tokyo would only be a teaser of what remains to be spelled out in due course.In external affairs, India’s top priorities are relations with Pakistan and China. In dealing with these two neighbours — one dangerous and the other difficult — South Block has reasons to see Trump as a powerful ally, mainly in its bid to isolate Pakistan globally in the aftermath of the Uri attack. The President-elect has called Pakistan as “probably the most dangerous country in the world” which matches New Delhi’s view of it as “the mothership of terrorism”. New Delhi’s evolving wavelength with a Trump presidency may well determine the course of events that began with the surgical strikes.New Delhi may also look forward to Trump’s tenancy of the White House for getting the better of China, which has not relented on India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group or the sanctioning of JeM chief Masood Azhar of Pakistan as a “terrorist”.Trump has been openly contemptuous of China, which he considers an “adversary”. He has threatened to penalise China if it fails to renegotiate trade deals on Washington’s terms. Regardles of whether a Trump Administration can walk its election campaign talk, the fact that he seems set against China might be to India’s advantage. Prime Minister Modi’s perception of such an advantage, if any, may be indicated in the India-Japan joint statement — for instance, it could be by way of a reference to the international tribunal’s order dismissing China’s claims over the South China Sea.After Pakistan and China, the ‘great game’ in Afghanistan is a big security and foreign policy challenge facing India. Trump has so far rooted for a wider Afghan-India security partnership, also with an eye on containing Pakistan. In fact, his case for continuing US troops in Afghanistan is to use that country as a base to contain Pakistan, prevent Pakistan-backed depredations in Afghanistan and hold up Afghanistan from collapsing as a state. The continued presence of US troops under a US President uncompromisingly opposed to Pakistan and its role in Afghanistan would be a big strategic and security boost to India.The author is an independent political and foreign affairs commentator

PM Modi starts Japan visit on Thursday, likely to ink civil nuclear deal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a three-day visit to Japan from Thursday during which the two countries are expected to sign a civil nuclear deal besides discussing ways to step up cooperation in the areas like trade, investment and security.Modi will be holding the annual Summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and have an audience with the Emperor of Japan in Tokyo. From Tokyo, Modi, accompanied by Abe, will travel to Kobe by the famed Shinkansen bullet train, the technology that will be deployed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway, Modi said ahead of his visit. He will visit the Kawasaki Heavy Industries facility in Kobe, where high speed railway is manufactured.”I will visit Japan on 10-12 November 2016 for the Annual Summit. This will be my second visit to Japan as Prime Minister,” Modi said in a statement here today. “I will have a detailed interaction with top business leaders from India and Japan, to look for ways to further strengthen our trade and investment ties,” he said. Modi said he looks forward to reviewing the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation when he meets Abe in Tokyo on November 11.”Our partnership with Japan is characterized as a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. India and Japan see each other through a prism of shared Buddhist heritage, democratic values, and commitment to an open, inclusive and rules-based global order,” he added. During the visit, the two countries are expected to sign civil nuclear cooperation agreement which will facilitate leading US-based atomic companies to set up plants in India.The two countries had sealed a broad agreement during Abe’s visit here last December but the final deal was yet to be signed as certain technical and legal issues were to be thrashed out. Both the countries have completed the internal procedures including legal and technical aspects of the text of the pact, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said last week. When specifically asked whether the pact will be signed during Modi’s visit, he only said, “I cannot pre-judge outcome of the talks.”Negotiations for the nuclear deal between the two countries have been going on for a number of years but the progress on these was halted because of political resistance in Japan after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Japan, the only country to have been hit by atom bombs, has immense sensitivity on the issue and a nuclear deal with India will be significant since it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and an atomic deal with it will make it easier for US-based nuclear plant makers Westinghouse Electric Corporation and GE Energy Inc to set up plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments. Cooperation in the fields of trade and investment and security, particularly in the context of continuing cross- border terrorism in India from Pakistan, are also expected to come up for discussions between Modi and Abe.”Today, Japan is one of the top investors in India. But many Japanese companies, which are household names in India, have been committed to the potential of Indian economy for several decades,” Modi said. “During the visit, I will have also the opportunity to pay a call on His Majesty the Emperor,” he added.He said the High Speed Railway cooperation between India and Japan is a shining example of the strength of bilateral cooperation.”It will not only boost our trade and investment ties, but will also create skilled jobs in India, improve our infrastructure and give a boost to our ‘Make in India’ mission,” the Prime Minister added.

New report questions China’s commitment to NSG, lays bare Pakistan dubious ways to nuke tech

China’s commitment to the NSG at a time when it so religiously throws the rulebook to block India’s bid to become a part of the elite nuclear club, stands on a dubious platform as a new report published by the King’s College of London exposes Pakistan’s web of lies and Beijing’s firm hand behind it.

Competing with India, Pakistan had also applied for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) with the implicit backing of China. Apart from its attempt to compete with India, it was also successfully lobbying against New Delhi’s membership and ensuring at least a delay in the decision.

Similar to India’s strategy to meet leaders from other countries and secure their support for its bid, Pakistan’s officials too embarked on a visit to Belarus and Kazakhstan to gain their backing.

The 48-member group will discuss the matter on 11 and 12 November during a plenary session in Vienna. At the NSG’s plenary session in Seoul, China had blocked India’s bid for membership. The meeting ended after an agreement was pushed by Australia and Mexico that a special meeting would be held in November to discuss the criteria for India’s entry.

China has refused to change its decision on India’s membership bid ahead of the Vienna meet. It said that it would only change its stance once rules for entry of non-NPT countries are finalised by the elite group.

Pakistan may hope to be considered for the NSG membership too in the Vienna meeting on Friday. It had told the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that “the exemplary measures Islamabad had taken to strengthen nuclear safety establish its eligibility credentials,” according to a report by Dawn.

Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said that Islamabad had implemented a comprehensive export control regime and ratified the 2005 amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material among other measures which make it eligible to become an NSG member.

According to the King’s College report carried by The Hindustan Times, Pakistan’s continued use of front companies and other deceptive methods to obtain dual-use goods for its nuclear programme means it cannot expect to be welcomed into the NSG.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping. PTI

Although China remains mum on its support to either India or Pakistan’s bid, its implicit support to Pakistan is evident from Islamabad’s move of applying formally to the group immediately after Beijing blocked New Delhi’s bid.

“Pakistan has the expertise, manpower, infrastructure, as well as the ability to supply NSG controlled items, goods and services for a full range of nuclear applications for peaceful uses,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office had said, according to a report by The Times of India.

However, the report by King’s College contradicts these claims. It also contends that China is either privy to Pakistan’s programmes, or negligent of its control over state-owned enterprises.

Project Alpha of the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College concluded that Pakistan has a “deliberate strategy of using deceptive methods to obtain dual-use goods”. The country also has a network of at least 20 trading companies in China, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore.

Islamabad “continues its forty-year history of covert procurement for its nuclear weapon programme largely unabated” and even keeps its nuclear fuel cycle off-limits to IAEA inspection. It remains to be seen how it will reconcile its activities to be in resonance with the rules of the grouping.

Further, the report also reveals that China is the most important supplier of all forms of goods to Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes. China and its private entities continue to knowingly supply Pakistan’s strategic programmes.

This brings into question China’s adherence to the rules and requirements of the NSG group. It is almost impossible for Pakistan to single handedly become a nuclear exporter, as the report points out. It needs the assistance of its all-weather friend, who is interestingly a part of the elite group.

The report suggests that Beijing will have to adjust its sales relationship with Pakistan to avoid international criticism.

However, this brings the dubious nature of China and its commitment to the group to the front. Stalling India’s bid with the help of Pakistan might just be a clever move by Beijing. It is not in China’s interest to allow India a greater role in international politics or to ease India’s path to growth where its economic or military clout will challenge China, as R Jagannathan points out in this Firstpost article.

The report raises pertinent questions like, is China using Pakistan for all its nuclear activities while keeping a clean front itself? Or, is it strengthening Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions for its own benefit?

Nevertheless, it is also time for the group to take a note of this report and launch an inquiry against China.

UK reaffirms support to India’s bid for UNSC, NSG membership

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Britain reaffirmed its support to India’s bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC) as the Prime Ministers of the two countries directed their officials concerned to have “close and regular consultations” on all matters related to the international body. The United Kingdom also welcomed India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a key global non-proliferation objectives, and backed India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as other key export control regimes like the Australia Group.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Theresa May also welcomed a fourth phase of the Joint UK-India Civil Nuclear Research Programme that will look at new technologies for enhancing nuclear safety, advanced materials for nuclear systems, waste management and future civil nuclear energy systems.The leaders directed their officials to have close and regular consultations on all matters related to the United Nations, including UN terrorist designations. Recognising that Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is a global challenge, India and the UK announced new research partnerships worth 80 million pounds, including establishment of a joint strategic group on AMR with a joint investment of up to 13 million pounds.The two sides said they would work together to support the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. “The growing India-UK cyber relationship is a success story of the Defence and International Security Partnership (DISP),” a joint statement by the two Prime Ministers said.The two Prime Ministers also expressed desire to enter into a Framework for the UK-India Cyber Relationship. Projects to reduce post-harvest losses to benefit farmers, collaborations in health care and the launch of the second phase of joint research in women and children’s health in low-income settings were also announced.May also signalled the UK’s intention to join the International Solar Alliance. In their joint statement, both the Prime Ministers said they look forward to the celebration of 2017 as the India-UK Year of Culture and support the activities and programmes being planned, for example an exhibition of Indian Science in the Science Museum in London and another highlighting 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare.

NSG bid: India wants China to see ‘logic in its entry’ to 48-nation grouping

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As a crucial meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group next week in Vienna is set to deliberate on admitting non-NPT members, India on Thursday hoped China will see the “logic” in its entry into the 48-nation grouping. When asked about the upcoming NSG meeting, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said it was for members of the grouping to take a call on India’s application.NSG special envoy Rafael Grossi is likely to place a proposal for admitting non-NPT members into the bloc during the grouping’s meeting in Vienna on November 11-12. “It is not really for us to comment as we are not inside the room. However, after the NSG Plenary in Seoul we have had continued conversations with NSG members and remain engaged in the process. We have lodged our application. Now it is for the NSG members to consider it and take a decision,” Swarup said.Asked about China’s position on India’s membership bid, he said both sides had “fruitful talks” recently and hoped that China will eventually support India’s bid. Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security) Amandeep Singh Gill and his Chinese counterpart Wang Qun had held talks on the NSG issue in Beijing last week. After the talks, China had said it will first find a solution that applies to all non-NPT countries seeking entry into NSG and will then discuss India’s application.
ALSO READ Will first seek solution to admit non-NPT states in NSG: China on India’s bid “As far as Chinese position is concerned, as you know we had second round of fruitful talks between the head of our disarmament and international security affairs division and Chinese lead negotiator on the NSG issue. Both sides have very freely and frankly discussed their positions and had agreed to continue the engagement. So we remain hopeful that eventually China will see the logic of India being inside the NSG which ultimately benefit the global non-proliferation regime,” Swarup said.Asked about Friday’s meeting between India’s NSA and China’s State Counsellor in Hyderabad, he said a range of bilateral, regional and global issues are likely to be discussed.

Pak says it will attend Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan in Amritsar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Friday said it will attend the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan to be held in Amritsar in December but has not decided on the “manner and level” of participation, a day after India welcomed Islamabad’s decision to take part in the meet.”The Heart of Asia Conference is aimed at bringing development in Afghanistan with the collaboration of other regional countries, which is in line with Pakistan’s commitment of supporting all efforts towards peace and stability in Afghanistan. We will be attending the conference,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafess Zakaria said during his weekly briefing. The spokesman, however, did not specify the manner and level of Pakistan’s participation in the meet that comes amidst rising tensions and loss of life due to heavy firing across the Line of Control (LoC).”However, the decision on the level and manner of participation in the Heart of Asia Conference is yet to be taken,” he said.On Thursday in New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup has welcomed Pakistan’s participation at the meet to be held on December 4. To another question, he said that the expelled Indian staffer at the Indian High Commission was involved in activities that were directly against the national security interests of Pakistan.”Unlike India, which has no proof but it keeps levelling baseless accusations against Pakistan, we have irrefutable proof of Indian state involvement in activities against Pakistan’s territorial integrity and national security,” he said.Commenting on reported comments of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that India might be pushed to a war with Pakistan if the latter continues its support to terrorism, Zakaria said that in the past too, Indian politicians have cast aspersions on Pakistan and have used this as a tool in domestic politics.”We see the current political debate about Pakistan in India, in the same backdrop as also its desperation to deflect the world attention from its atrocities in Kashmir. The timing and pattern of heating up LoC by India are suggestive. Pakistan condemns such crass attempts to malign it,” he said.He also said that the 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver has helped India to embark on a nuclear buildup and increase its military nuclear programme and lamented that the waiver was granted without requiring India to make “any worthwhile non-proliferation commitments”.When asked to comment on a report by a Pakistani think-tank that India can produce a maximum of 356-492 nuclear weapons, Zakaria said, “Pakistan has long maintained that India’s rapidly expanding military nuclear programme poses a grave threat to peace and stability in the region and beyond.””These concerns have been fully validated by publicly available reports on significant upcoming fissile material facilities and build up of unsafeguarded weapon usable fissile material in India,” he said.”This buildup has been facilitated by the 2008 NSG waiver granted to India, which not only dented the credibility of the non-proliferation regime and undermined its efficacy, but also negatively affected the strategic balance in South Asia. It was unfortunate that the NSG did not require India to make any worthwhile non-proliferation commitments at the time.” He said that another country-specific exemption by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the membership question would only further exacerbate the ill effects of the 2008 exemption.”It remains our hope that the NSG member states would make a well-considered decision this time keeping in view its long- term implications for the global non-proliferation regime as well as strategic stability in our region,” he said. He blamed India for engaging in terror activities in Pakistan and said that Islamabad was working on dossiers based on confession of an alleged Indian agent.”We have irrefutable evidence of that. We have also shared with you many times that the investigations after the arrest of Kulbushan Jadhav is ongoing and the dossier is being compiled. As soon as the time is propitious, we will submit the dossier to the concerned, particularly the UN Secretary General,” he said.

Decision on India’s NSG bid to be taken soon: New Zealand PM John Key

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and New Zealand agreed on Wednesday to strengthen ties in key areas of trade, defence and security during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Kiwi counterpart John Key, who also assured that his country will contribute “constructively” to the process currently underway in the NSG to consider India’s membership.After the “productive” talks between the two Prime Ministers, the two sides inked three pacts including one pertaining to Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and decided to establish Foreign Minister-level dialogue as well as exchanges on cyber issues. Asserting that they had detailed and productive discussions on all aspects of the bilateral engagement and multilateral cooperation, Modi at a joint media event with Key said, “I am thankful to Prime Minister Key for New Zealand’s constructive approach to the consideration of India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).”There was no clear word of support on India’s entry into 48-nation NSG from the visiting leader, who only said, “New Zealand would continue to contribute constructively to the process currently underway in the NSG to consider India’s membership.” Noting that they had a “detailed” discussion on India’s NSG bid, Key also said, “New Zealand is committed to working with NSG members to reach a decision as soon as possible.” New Zealand acknowledged the “importance to India of it joining the NSG”, a joint statement issued after the talks said, adding that India stressed that this would provide the predictability necessary for meeting India’s clean energy goals in the context of the Paris agreements.New Zealand was one of the countries that took the stand at the last NSG plenary in South Korea in June that no exception can be made in the case of India, a non-NPT country, while considering its membership bid of the elite group that regulates trade in nuclear material. At the plenary, despite strong US support, China had blocked India’s bid on the ground that it was a not a signatory to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).On security and counter-terrorism ties, Modi said they have agreed to strengthen security and intelligence cooperation against terrorism and radicalisation, including in the domain of cyber security. According to the joint statement, the two Prime Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation, bilaterally as well as in the framework of UN and especially in 1267 Committee, to combat the full spectrum of terrorist threats in all their forms and manifestations.”They called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing, and stopping cross-border terrorism. Both sides called for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that would contribute to the further strengthening of the international counter-terrorism legal framework,” it added. Asserting that trade and investment ties were one of the key areas during the talks, Modi said they recognised the need for greater economic engagement in order to effectively respond to the growing uncertainties in the global economy. It was agreed that expanding business and commercial ties should continue to be one of the priority items of the partnership, he said, adding that the large business delegation accompanying Prime MinisterKey will witness firsthand the investment opportunities on offer in India’s growth story. Identifying food processing, dairy and agriculture, and related areas in their supply chain as some of the areas of particular potential for bilateral cooperation, Modi said New Zealand’s strength and capacity in these sectors can combine with India’s vast technology needs to build partnerships that can benefit both the societies. “We also agreed that actions by both governments should also promote greater business connectivity, including through movement of skilled professionals, between our two economies and societies. “In this regard, we have agreed to continue to work closely towards an early conclusion of a balanced and mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement,” he said.He further added that along side extensive bilateral engagement, the bilateral cooperation also extends to the global arena. On regional issues, the two sides have agreed to enhance cooperation, including in the East Asia Summit process. Noting that reform of international governance institutions is a shared priority for both of them, Modi said, “We are thankful for New Zealand’s support to India joining a reformed UN Security Council as a permanent member. “As we make our own contribution to the developmental efforts of the Pacific Island countries, we will continue to consult closely with New Zealand to complement and supplement each other’s efforts.”Modi also said it was a particular pleasure to receive Prime Minister Key in India during the festive season given that it was now a regular feature for the New Zealand Parliament to celebrate the festival of Diwali and, Key has also participated in several of these festivities.

New Zealand PM John Key arrives in India, to hold talks with PM Modi on Wednesday

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on Wednesday with his New Zealand counterpart John Key, who arrived on a three-day India visit on Tuesday, during which he is likely to seek Wellington’s support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

New Zealand PM John Key arrives in India. PTI

New Zealand PM John Key arrives in India. PTI

New Zealand was one of the countries that took the stand at the last NSG plenary in South Korea in June that no exception can be made in the case of India, a non-NPT country, while considering its membership bid of the elite group that regulates trade in atomic material. At the plenary, despite strong US support, China had blocked India’s bid on the ground that it was a not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Ahead of Key’s visit, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India will tell New Zealand it had “all the credentials” to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and that it would strengthen the NPT regime. “We believe that we have all the credentials to be a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and we hope that at the end of the day the 48 member grouping will see the logic of India’s entry because it will only strengthen the global non-proliferation regime,” Swarup had said.

Key, who was scheduled to arrive in Mumbai on Monday, cancelled that leg of his tour, due to a technical problem in his aircraft. Apart from Delhi, where Key will hold extensive talks with Modi on key bilateral issues and call on President Pranab Mukherjee, besides attending a business summit, he will also travel to Kochi on Thursday.

In Kochi, he and his delegation will undertake a short tour of the new Cochin International Terminal and the work undertaken by the New Zealand company, Glidepath. Key will be accompanied by members of New Zealand Parliament Mark Mitchell, Chair of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, MP. He had last visited India in 2011.

Narendra Modi to raise NSG issue with New Zealand PM next week

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to seek New Zealand’s support to India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group when he holds talks with his counterpart of the island nation John Key in New Delhi next week.

Key will pay a four-day visit to India from 24-27 October.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India’s bid for NSG membership is likely to figure in talks between the two prime ministers besides other issues.

File photo of Narendra Modi. Getty ImagesFile photo of Narendra Modi. Getty Images

File photo of Narendra Modi. Getty Images

In the June Plenary of NSG in Seoul, despite strong American support, China stonewalled India’s bid to get entry into the group on the grounds that it was a not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

New Zealand, a member of the 48-nation grouping, is known to have strong position on nuclear non-proliferation. The NSG works under the principle of unanimity.

Key will arrive in Mumbai on the evening of October 24 where he will deliver a key note address at an event rganised by Bombay Stock Exchange in association with Chambers of Commerce.

Key will also meet with the Governor and Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He will also be attending Innovation showcase event to celebrate innovation in New Zealand-India business partnerships.

In Delhi, Key will hold one-to-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed by official delegation level meeting to discuss growing bilateral relations. He will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee and attend a business summit.

On conclusion of visit, Key will depart Delhi on 27 October via Kochi where he and his delegation will undertake a short tour of the new Cochin International Terminal and the work undertaken by the New Zealand company, Glidepath.

Key will be accompanied by members of New Zealand Parliament Mark Mitchell, Chair of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, MP.

He had last visited India in 2011. President Pranab Mukherjee visited New Zealand in May this year.

India lauds Brazil’ support for actions to combat terror: Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India appreciated Brazil’s support for its actions to combat terrorism on Monday and said the two countries agreed that the world must come together to fight the menace without distinction or discrimination. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also thanked Brazilian President Michel Temer for “understanding India’s aspiration” for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. “My country deeply appreciates Brazil’s support for India’s actions in combating terrorism,” Modi said after a bilateral meeting with Temer, who is here for the 8th BRICS Summit which concluded yesterday. “We agreed that the world must come together to fight this menace without distinction or discrimination,” the Prime Minister said.He said India will continue to work with Brazil as an important partner in early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).”Both bilaterally and multilaterally, the partnership between India and Brazil is filled with possibilities that we are keen to harvest,” he said. Modi said the two countries made progress in opening new areas of cooperation in drug regulation, agricultural research and cyber security during Temer’s visit. “I am happy to note that India and Brazil are close to finalising the text of a bilateral investment agreement. President Temer and I have reviewed the full range of bilateral cooperation,” he said.He said that the bilateral relations between India and Brazil have grown for the better and there has been increased interaction at all levels. “This visit (by Temer) takes place as both countries mark a decade of our strategic partnership,” the Prime Minister said. Modi and the Brazilian leader also witnessed exchange of four cross-sectoral MoUs between the two countries.The first MoU is on genetic resources, agriculture, animal husbandry, natural resources and fisheries while the second one is on pharma products regulation. The third MoU is on cattle genomics and assisted reproductive technologies and the fourth is on investment cooperation and facilitation treaty.

Boycott of Chinese goods fails in festive season, sale hits record high

Beijing: Calls for boycott of Chinese goods in India following China’s opposition to a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar have failed as sales of Chinese products in the country hit a record high during the festive season, official media in Beijing said on Friday.

“Diwali, one of the most important Hindu festivals and one of the biggest shopping seasons in India, is coming at the end of October, but encouragement to boycott Chinese goods has been spreading in the last few days on Indian social media, and even a few Indian politicians are exaggerating facts,” an article in the state-run Global Times said.

“However, regardless of the passionate boycott in India and Indian media’s hysteric reports of a “doomsday” for Chinese products, Chinese goods have never been condemned by Indian government and are popular across the nation,” it said.

“The boycott has not achieved success. Sales figures for Chinese products on the top three Indian online retailers in the first week of October hit a new record. Amazingly, the Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi sold half a million phones in just three days on the Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal and Tata CLiQ platforms,” the article said.

Referring to the boycott calls over China’s technical hold on moves to bring about a ban on Azhar as well Beijing obstructing India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, (NSG), it said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Chinese products are often the victim when regional situations get tense, and this phenomenon has been existing for quite a few years. Now Chinese goods are on the stage again due to the Kashmir issue,” it said.

“The bilateral trade relationship is one of the pillars of the Sino-Indian relationship. The trade volume was over $70 billion in 2015, and China’s investment in India soared to around $870 million in 2015, six times what it was in 2014,” it said.

India has been expressing concern over the trade deficit which last year touched $46 billion.

“To some extent, the economic relationship is the barometer of the political relationship. There shouldn’t be huge fluctuation in terms of economic cooperation if the political relationship keeps steady between the two,” it said.

“For the dragon and elephant, enhancing economic ties would be a preferable way to promote the comprehensive bilateral relationship. The more economic cooperation exists, the more opportunities there will be for Chinese products to enter the Indian market.

“India is a big potential market, and people using smartphones and doing online shopping has become the irreversible trend in the new era,” it said.

The commercial cooperation between these two countries could also be focused on e-commerce, service and financial investment.

Another article in the same daily said India has to upgrade its industrial structures to address $46 billion trade deficit.

Official data during September showed India had exported goods worth $922 million to China, while importing goods worth $5.4 billion from China.

“The huge trade deficit with China has become an increasingly unharmonious factor in bilateral ties between the two countries, requiring China and India to take practical measures to narrow the trade imbalance when leaders of the two nations meet in India over the weekend for the Brics Summit,” the article said.

“The two countries have made concerted efforts to narrow the trade imbalance, including signing a five-year trade and economic cooperation agreement in 2014, but it seems that such moves have had only limited effects. What we need to do now is find out the root causes of the trade imbalance,” it said.

The major imports from China include electronic components, telecom instruments, chemicals and pharmaceutical products, while India’s major exports to China include ore, plastics and cotton.

“The imbalanced bilateral trade structure is actually a result of the fact that China and India are at different developmental stages in terms of industrialisation. It won’t be easy to reduce India’s trade deficit with China simply by relying on measures such as seeking greater access to the Chinese market for India’s raw materials and agricultural products – India also needs to upgrade its industrial structure,” it said.

“In other words, India seeking to solve the problem of the China-India trade imbalance cannot anchor its hopes on efforts such as persuading Chinese people to consume more Indian goods at a time when more and more Indian young people are keen to use Chinese-made goods such as smartphones,” it said.

“Efforts such as encouraging Chinese smartphone makers to set up production lines in India may be the most effective way to reduce the trade deficit, which is partly the result of a price gap between India’s imports of finished goods and its exports of raw materials,” it said.

“But sadly, it seems that India is not on the right path, as the  country is trying to reduce its trade deficit with China through trade protectionism,” it said, adding that there had been 322 anti-dumping cases in India so far, of which 177 cases involved Chinese products.

“Besides, a social media campaign urging people to refrain from buying China-made products has recently been building in India. Such moves will not help contribute to reducing India’s trade deficit, but could damage bilateral ties instead,” it said.

South Asian tensions seen dominating Indian BRICS summit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India will take its drive to isolate Pakistan and rally the international community against cross-border militancy to a summit of emerging market powers this weekend, when it hosts BRICS nations in the western state of Goa. For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the gathering of leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa offers an opportunity to highlight the threat he sees to Indian security from recent frontier clashes with Pakistan.But across the summit table at a resort hotel, Chinese President Xi Jinping is unlikely to have much interest in casting Beijing’s alliance with Pakistan into doubt. The final summit declaration is expected to repeat earlier condemnations of “terrorism in all its forms”, say diplomats and analysts, but avoid levelling blame over tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian rivals. Such discussions will make security a dominant issue at the eighth annual summit of the group, even as leaders also address core themes such as the global economy, financial cooperation and mutual trade. “We will be looking at the global economic and political situation, and obviously terrorism is a very important part of that,” Amar Sinha, the Indian foreign ministry official responsible for the BRICS file, told a pre-summit briefing.NOT JUST A “JOLLY PARTNER” Where Modi and Xi may see eye to eye, at least privately, is in a shared desire for Islamabad to restrain Islamist militants who, in Beijing’s view, pose a threat to China’s plans to build a $46 billion trade corridor that runs through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. “Contrary to the public messaging in Islamabad, China is not the perpetual jolly partner when it comes to its relations with Pakistan,” said Michael Kugelman, a senior program associate at the Wilson Center in Washington who focuses on South Asia. “With China’s investments and economic assets growing in Pakistan, it’s only natural that it would worry. All militants, whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as characterised by Pakistan, threaten stability and by extension China’s economic interests.” In addition to launching what it described as cross-border “surgical strikes” against suspected militants in Pakistan, in response to a Sept. 18 attack on an army base that killed 19 Indian soldiers, New Delhi has mounted a diplomatic offensive to isolate Islamabad.Pakistan has denied any part in the attack on the Uri army base, near the de facto border that runs through the disputed territory of Kashmir. It also denies any “surgical strikes” took place, saying there was only border firing that is relatively common along the frontier. Islamabad says India has exploited the incident to divert attention from its own security crackdown on protests sparked by the killing of a popular separatist militant leader. More than 80 civilians have been killed and thousands wounded in India’s part of Kashmir, and a widespread curfew has been imposed.EXPRESSIONS OF SUPPORTAfter the Uri attack, India quickly won expressions of support from the West and from Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin will also hold a bilateral summit with Modi in Goa.China, for its part, has shown public restraint. Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said that China and Pakistan were paying close attention to security threats to the trade corridor. “If Pakistan’s security situation does not improve, it will obstruct some of these projects – especially infrastructure ones,” said Zhao. “In this sense, cooperation on counter-terrorism is very close.” India has already engineered the collapse of a South Asian regional summit to have been hosted by Pakistan, and the Goa gathering will also feature an outreach session to countries from the Bay of Bengal region that could emerge as an alternative focus of regional cooperation.WORKING GROUPSBRICS leaders will support plans agreed by their national security advisers to create three working groups to cooperate on cyber security, counter-terrorism and energy security, said Sinha, the Indian foreign ministry official. But diplomats and analysts say that India’s long-held ambition of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a club of nuclear-trading nations, is unlikely to progress at Goa with China yet to soften its blocking stance. And, despite concerns about militancy within Pakistan, China has rebuffed India’s calls for the United Nations to designate Maulana Masood Azhar, leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed group that India blames for recent cross-border attacks, as a terrorist. China recently extended a so-called “hold” on the designation by a further three months. That reflects an evolving rivalry between the world’s two most populous nations in which, under Modi, India is seeking to close huge economic and military gaps and is shifting away from traditional non-alignment and seeking a closer partnership with the United States. At the same time, China is expanding its economic and strategic reach into the Indian Ocean region, with Xi visiting Bangladesh on Friday en route to Goa where he is expected to sign loans worth $24 billion. “Overall, it will be an awkward summit,” said Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. He added that, for India, “diplomatic isolation of Pakistan will be the most important objective.”

Real threat to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is from its army, not terrorists: Former NSA Menon

Washington: The “real threat” to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is from rogue elements inside its military rather than from the terrorist outfits, India’s former national security advisor Shivshankar Menon has said.

Shivshankar Menon. Reuters

Shivshankar Menon. Reuters

Noting that terrorists have easier and cheaper ways of wreaking havoc, Menon said the nuclear weapons are complex devises that are difficult to manage, use and deliver and require very high level of skills.

“To my mind, the real threat (to Pakistani nukes) is from insiders, from a Pakistani pilot or a brigadier who decides to wage nuclear jihad, with or without orders,” Menon writes in his book titled Choices: Inside the making of India’s Foreign Policy.

“The risk increases as Pakistan builds tactical nuclear weapons for battlefield use, control of which will necessarily be delegated down the command chain,” he said.

Menon says Pakistan is the only nuclear weapon programme in the world that is exclusively under military control.

“There are good reasons why no other country chose to go down this path,” he said.

Menon writes that India has nuclear weapons for the contribution that make to its national security in an uncertain and anarchic world by preventing others from attempting nuclear blackmail and coercion against India.

“Unlike in certain NWS, India’s nuclear weapons are not meant to redress a military balance, or to compensate for some perceived inferiority in conventional military terms, or to serve some tactical or operational military need on the battlefield,” he notes.

While India has a declared policy of no-first use of nuclear weapons, Menon in his book warns that if Pakistan were to use tactical nuclear weapons against India “even against Indian forces in Pakistan,” it would effectively be opening the door to a massive Indian-first strike, having crossed India’s declared red line.

“Pakistani tactical nuclear weapons use would effectively free India to undertake a comprehensive first strike against Pakistan,” he said.

“There are several responses short of war available to a state like India,” he writes.

The bittersweet India- China deal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In school, during skits or presentations we make groups with whom we are comfortable with or have a chance to win or do well. Similarly, countries too form groups to help in each other’s progress, whereby there is equality and mutual benefit. One such group is the BRICS. Brazil, Russia, India and China are the original members of BRIC, which took shape in 2006. The first summit meeting was held on 16th June 2009. The aim is to improve the global economic situation by cooperating with each other and making trade easier. The eighth annual BRICS summit will be held in Goa from 15-16 October 2016.Vying for the no1 spotThe two big giants of the group, China and India have the highest growth rate in the world. It is essential for India and China to maintain good relationships. However, the two countries haven’t shared the best of relationships and instead stood on opposing grounds. After the 1962 war against India, China had supported Pakistan by providing supplies. A key factor to India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group membership was also denied by China’s vote. Recently after the attacks in Kashmir, China has remained neutral on the attacks by saying that it is in contact with India and Pakistan and hoped that the countries would jointly enhance communication.Trade mattersThe political relations may be strained but economically the two countries trade worth was $70.73 billion in 2015-16. India exports iron, steel, leather, cotton, tin, plastic etc. and China exports telecom instruments, computer hardware, fertilizers, chemicals etc. BRICS countries exports to rest of the world were $3.48 trillion in 2014. Between 2006 and 2015, BRICS’s trade increased 163 percent from $93 to $244 billion. Thus it is essential for India and China to build their relationship as they make up an important part of the trade world.The plan for 2016The BRICS summit meet held each year helps to discuss the changes that need to be brought in to improve the relationship between the member countries and also benefit the nations. This year’s theme being Building, Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions. The plan for this year is to deepen the cooperation between the nations, implementing decisions of previous summits, finding better policies and methods and continuing the policies of the past. China has proposed a free trade area (zone where there would no government restrictions and tax on imports), which would be discussed during the meet. China is also ready to hold talks with India regarding its entry into NSG, which would boost India’s prospects of getting a membership.The BRICS summit is crucial as there is a need to balance the India-China relationship, which not only affects the BRICS nations but also the economy of the world.

Mixed feelings in Marshalls over epic nuclear case; island nation takes on India, Pak, Britain

Majuro, Marshall Islands: As the Marshall Islands awaits an international court ruling on Wednesday on whether its lawsuit against three nuclear powers can proceed, many in the western Pacific nation question the merit of the David-versus-Goliath legal battle.

The country of 55,000 people is taking on India, Pakistan and Britain in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), arguing they have failed to comply with the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Initially the lawsuit was even more ambitious — also including China, France, Israel, North Korea, Russia and the United States — none of which recognised the ICJ’s jurisdiction on the matter.

The Marshalls has a long, bitter history with nuclear weapons, making it one of the few nations that can argue with credibility before the ICJ about their impact.

The island nation was ground zero for 67 American nuclear weapons tests from 1946-58 at Bikini and Enewetak atolls, when it was under US administration.

The tests included the 1954 “Bravo” hydrogen bomb, the most powerful ever detonated by the United States, about 1,000 times bigger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

They fed into an apocalyptic zeitgeist in Cold War popular culture, giving a name to the bikini swimsuit and leading to the development of Japan’s Godzilla movie monster.

In “Godzilla”, the creature is awakened by a hydrogen bomb test, rising from a roiling sea to destroy Tokyo, in a walking, radiation-breathing analogy for nuclear disaster.

FILE - In this May 21, 1956 file photo, the stem of a hydrogen bomb, the first such nuclear device dropped from a U.S. aircraft, moves upward through a heavy cloud and comes through the top of the cloud, after the bomb was detonated over Namu Island in the Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. The hydrogen bomb was never dropped on any targets. It was first successfully tested in the 1950s by the U.S., in bombs called Mike and Bravo. Soviet tests soon followed. (AP Photo, File)FILE - In this May 21, 1956 file photo, the stem of a hydrogen bomb, the first such nuclear device dropped from a U.S. aircraft, moves upward through a heavy cloud and comes through the top of the cloud, after the bomb was detonated over Namu Island in the Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. The hydrogen bomb was never dropped on any targets. It was first successfully tested in the 1950s by the U.S., in bombs called Mike and Bravo. Soviet tests soon followed. (AP Photo, File)

In this May 21, 1956 file photo, the stem of a hydrogen bomb, the first such nuclear device dropped from a U.S. aircraft, moves upward through a heavy cloud and comes through the top of the cloud, after the bomb was detonated over Namu Island in the Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. The hydrogen bomb was never dropped on any targets. It was first successfully tested in the 1950s by the U.S., in bombs called Mike and Bravo. Soviet tests soon followed. AP

 ‘Sky turned blood red’ 

On the Marshall Islands, the impacts of the nuclear tests were all too real.

Numerous islanders were forcibly evacuated from ancestral lands and resettled, while thousands more were exposed to radioactive fallout.

“Several islands in my country were vaporised and others are estimated to remain uninhabitable for thousands of years,” Tony deBrum, a former Marshall Islands foreign minister, told an ICJ hearing earlier this year.

He recalled witnessing the Bravo test as a nine-year-old while fishing with his grandfather in an atoll, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the blast’s epicentre.

“The entire sky turned blood red,” he said. “Many died, or suffered birth defects never before seen and cancers as a result of contamination.”

DeBrum launched the Marshall’s ICJ action in 2014 with cooperation from the California-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

His actions prompted the International Peace Bureau to nominate him in January for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, which is yet to be awarded.

Yet critics argue the ICJ action is a distraction and the islanders’ real fight is with Washington, which carried out the tests in their backyard.

They contend the case has no relationship to victims’ claims for increased compensation, better health care and clean-ups to make sites habitable again.

Official criticism has been muted recently to avoid undermining deBrum’s Nobel nomination.

But his successor as foreign minister, John Silk, made his views clear before an election last November when voters ousted 40 percent of the parliament, including deBrum.

Labelling the action “unauthorised” and “a publicity stunt”, he said the focus should remain on petitioning the US Congress for increased compensation.

“What do these lawsuits have to do with resolving the legacy of the US nuclear testing programme?” he asked.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation argues that the Marshalls is taking a broader perspective in trying to re-start nuclear disarmament talks that have stalled over the past 20 years.

“The Republic of the Marshall Islands acts for the seven billion of us who live on this planet to end the nuclear weapons threat hanging over all humanity,” its website says.

“Everyone has a stake in this.”

The ICJ, the UN’s top court, will decide on Wednesday whether it believes the case should go to a full hearing.

Hillary Clinton fears suicide nuclear bombers from Pakistan

Washington: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has expressed concern over the possibility of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of jihadists, which she said was “a threatening scenario”, according to a media report.

“Pakistan is running full speed to develop tactical nukes in their continuing hostility with India,” the former secretary of state told a closed-door fundraiser in Virginia in February, The New York Times reported, citing 50-minute audio being hacked from the Democratic Party’s computers.

“But we live in fear that they’re going to have a coup, that jihadists are going to take over the government, they’re going to get access to nuclear weapons, and you’ll have suicide nuclear bombers. So, this could not be a more threatening scenario,” the daily quoted Clinton as saying in the audio that appeared on The Washington Free Beacon website.

During the fund raiser, responding to a question on modernisation of nuclear weapons, the daily said, Clinton went beyond the question to warn of an emerging nuclear arms race, naming Russia and China as well as Pakistan and India.

“This is one of the most dangerous developments imaginable,” Clinton said.

Such remarks from the former secretary of state gains significance in view of an interview of Pakistani Defence Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif to the local TV channel in which he threatened to unleash nukes against India.

“If our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them (India),” Asif had said.

The United States appears to have taken a strong note of Asif’s recent statements on use of nuclear weapons.

“Nuclear capable states have the responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities,” a state department official told PTI when asked about the statements being made by the Pakistani leader.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had said while India has generally shown responsible behaviour with nuclear technology, China conducts itself professionally, nuclear weapons in Pakistan are entangled in history of tensions.

Meanwhile, in an opinion “Consequences of Pakistani Terrorism: Raids signal that India won’t tolerate more attacks in Kashmir”, The Wall Street Journal warned that Pakistan increasingly risks becoming a “pariah state” if it continues with such policies.

It said if Pakistan wants to prevent an escalation of violence it needs to shut down the terror groups it continues to support. “That should start with Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, two major jihadist groups that operate openly in Pakistan and are prime suspects in these attacks,” it said.

“Both groups are supported by its military despite being on United Nations lists of terrorist organisations,” the daily said in the hard-hitting opinion piece, a day after India carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir against terrorists planning to sneak into the country.

The Journal noted that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has consistently offered closer economic and diplomatic ties to Pakistan as long as it stops supporting terrorism.

Pakistan, it argued, needs a new vision centered on improving the lives of its people.

Global cost of India-Pakistan nuclear war: 21 million dead, ozone layer destroyed and more

By Abheet Singh Sethi

If India and Pakistan fought a war detonating 100 nuclear warheads (around half of their combined arsenal), each equivalent to a 15-kiloton Hiroshima bomb, more than 21 million people will be directly killed, about half the world’s protective ozone layer would be destroyed, and a “nuclear winter” would cripple the monsoons and agriculture worldwide.

As the Indian Army considers armed options, and a member of Parliament (MP) of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urges a nuclear attack, these projections, made by researchers from three US universities in 2007, are a reminder of the costs of nuclear war.

BCabsoptdailyBCabsoptdaily

Visualisation by nucleardarkness.org based on study by researchers from Rutgers University, University of Colorado-Boulder and University of California, Los Angeles

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said, on 23 September, 2016, that if 100 million Indians died in a Pakistani nuclear attack, India’s retaliation would wipe out Pakistan.

But the real costs would be higher and not just in India and Pakistan, where the first 21 million people–half the death toll of World War II–would perish within the first week from blast effects, burns and acute radiation, according to the 2007 study by researchers from Rutgers University, University of Colorado-Boulder and University of California, Los Angeles, all in the USA.

This death toll would be 2,221 times the number of civilians and security forces killed by terrorists in India over nine years to 2015, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of South Asia Terrorism Portal data.

Another two billion people worldwide would face risks of severe starvation due to the climatic effects of the nuclear-weapon use in the subcontinent, according to this 2013 assessment by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a global federation of physicians.

Pakistan has an estimated 110 to 130 nuclear warheads as of 2015–an increase from an estimated 90 to 110 warheads in 2011–according to this report from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a global disarmament advocacy. India is estimated to have 110 to 120 nuclear warheads.

Talk of war began after a terrorist attack on an army garrison in the Kashmir town of Uri claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers. The Indian Army said the attack was carried out by four terrorists from the Jaish-e-Mohammed (Army of Mohammed) group, based in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja M Asif responded to threats from India by saying, “If Pakistan’s security is threatened, we will not hesitate in using tactical (nuclear) weapons.”

Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability has previously deterred India from responding to previous attacks.

“At the end of the day, India has to ensure that the options it exercises–particularly the military ones–do not leave it worse off than before in terms of casualties and costs,” wrote analyst Manoj Joshi in The Wire.

It does not really matter if India has fewer nuclear weapons than Pakistan, IndiaSpend reported in April, 2015, primarily because of the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction”, or MAD, as it is commonly known (See this IndiaSpend report for more about India’s nuclear weapons program).

66 percent Pakistan’s nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles

As many as 66 percent Pakistani nuclear warheads are mounted on 86 land-based ballistic missiles, according to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists data estimates.

Pakistan’s Hatf (named after the sword of Prophet Muhammad) series of ballistic missiles has been developed–and is still under development–keeping India in mind.

A major attack by Pakistan’s nuclear-tipped medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) would likely target India’s four major metropolitan cities–New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai (depending on where the missile is fired from), according to Sameer Patil, fellow, national security, ethnic conflict and terrorism at Gateway House, a think tank in Mumbai.

The MRBMs would also target “the major commands of the Indian Army”, Patil told IndiaSpend.

Nearly half (40) of Pakistan’s ballistic missile warheads could be mated to Ghauri (named after 12th-century Afghan king Shahbuddin Ghauri, also known as Muhammad of Ghauri) MRBMs. The missile has a claimed range of 1,300 km and can target Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal and Lucknow, according to this 2006 report on Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

Pakistan has an estimated eight warheads which could be mated to the Shaheen (Falcon) II. This MRBM has a range of 2,500 km and can target most major Indian cities, including Kolkata on the east coast.

Pakistans-Nuclear-Arsenal-Desktop 825Pakistans-Nuclear-Arsenal-Desktop 825

Source: Pakistani Nuclear Forces, 2015; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

An estimated 16 warheads could be fired atop the short-range Ghaznavi (named after the 11th-century Afghan invader Mahmud Ghazni) ballistic missile. With a range of 270 km to 350 km, it can target Ludhiana, Ahmedabad and the outer perimeter of Delhi.

Pakistan has an estimated 16 nuclear-tipped Shaheen1 (falcon), short-range ballistic missiles (IRBM), having a 750 km range which can reach Ludhiana, Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.

Pakistan has an estimated six 60-km range Nasr missiles, which could be mated to nuclear weapons. These tactical nuclear missiles could target “advancing battle formations of the Indian Army”, according to Patil. These missiles could be what Asif referred to.

Pakistan also has eight nuclear-tipped 350-km Babur cruise missiles with nuclear warheads.

An estimated 36 nuclear warheads, accounting for 28 percent of Pakistan’s total, can be delivered using aircraft. US-made F-16 A/B aircraft can deliver 24 nuclear bombs while the French-made Mirage III/V can deliver 12.

India’s triad: Submarine, missile and aircraft

India has deployed 56 Prithvi (earth) and Agni (fire) series of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, which carry 53 percent of India’s 106 estimated warheads, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

This doesn’t take into account the estimated 12 warheads for the K-15 Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which India has possibly produced for the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant.

Once commissioned, Arihant would give India a strategic nuclear triad and second strike capability, as this July 2015 IndiaSpend report notes.

“Given the smaller geographical size of Pakistan,” said Patil, India would likely target “Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi and the Pakistani Army Armed Corps headquarters at Nowshera”.

However, he cautioned: “The fallout of the nuclear attacks on Lahore and Karachi, for instance, would not just be restricted to the Pakistani territory, and depending on the wind directions, can affect both Indian and Afghan border territories.”

Indias-Nuclear-Arsenal-Desktop 825Indias-Nuclear-Arsenal-Desktop 825

Source: Indian Nuclear Forces, 2015; Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

The 250 km-range Prithvi SRBM acts as a delivery system for 24 of India’s warheads. These are capable of hitting major Pakistani cities, such as Lahore, Sialkot, the capital Islamabad, and Rawalpindi, according to this May 2015 IndiaSpend analysis.

India has 20 nuclear-tipped Agni I SRBM and eight Agni II intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs), with ranges of 700 km and 2,000 km, respectively. These are capable of covering almost all Pakistani cities, including Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Peshawar, Karachi, Quetta and Gwadar.

Agni III, IV and V, with their longer ranges, might be able to reach all of Pakistan, but it can be safely said that they are directed more towards China.

IndiaSpend-Logo11 (1)IndiaSpend-Logo11 (1)

India also possesses an estimated two ship-launched 350-km range Dhanush SRBM, which could be fitted with nuclear warheads.

India’s aircraft can deliver an estimated 45 percent of 106 warheads. The Indian Air Force’s Jaguar fighter bombers can deliver about 16 nuclear warheads, while the French-built Mirage-2000 fleet can deliver 32.

Indiaspend.org is a data-driven, public-interest journalism non-profit

Cabinet clears ratification of Paris climate deal, opposes capping emissions from aviation sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared ratification of the historic Paris climate agreement fulfilling the first and most important domestic step in ratification of the deal. The cabinet approval comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Kozhikode on Sunday that India will ratify the deal on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2.Briefing the press here on Wednesday union minister for human resources and development Prakash Javadekar said, “India has been a big player in climate negotiations and with the ratification, India will be playing decisive part in bring the Paris agreement into force. India’s push will help the deal’s ratification soon and it will become irreversible course of action for humankind. It is a common resolve to keep the temperature rise below two degree Celsius.”The Paris deal will come into effect in post-2020 and will be enforced after at least 55 countries, that contribute to 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, officially ratify it. So far, 61 countries, accounting for 48% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified the deal. With India ratifying the deal on October 2, the numbers will go up to 51% as India accounts for 4.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, pushing the Paris deal closer to coming into effect. The European Union, which accounts for 12.10% of global greenhouse gas emissions is expected to join the deal in the first week of October, taking the Paris deal beyond the 55% global emissions threshold.Following cabinet clearance, India will now have to deposit the legal instrument of ratification at the United Nations Headquarters legally join the deal. “Since October 2 is a Sunday, we have already requested the United Nations to keep its office open so that we can complete the remaining legal procedures,” Javadekar added.India’s decision to ratify the Paris deal before the next UN climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco, was a climb down from its earlier stand where it had indicated that it will not join the deal before 2016. It had hedged ratification of the deal to leverage a seat in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. But, with strong indications that the European Union is set to join the deal in October, India seems to have changed its position to avoid getting left behind in the deal’s ratification on time. When dna asked Javadekar about the change in India’s stance, he said, “We had never declared a specific date for ratification of the Paris deal.”During Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, it was also decided that India will oppose the International Civil Aviation Oragnization (ICAO)’s proposal for carbon emission tax on the civil aviation sector. The ICAO is currently meeting in Montreal to reach a deal on capping emissions from the aviation sector. “During the Brazil, South Africa, India, China (BASIC) meeting earlier this year, we had reached a conclusion being developing economies, capping emissions from the aviation sector won’t be appropriate.” The global aviation industry accounts for 2% of carbon emissions globally.

Cabinet approves ratification of Paris climate deal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the historic Paris climate agreement fulfilling the first step in ratification of the deal. The cabinet approval comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Kozhikode on Sunday that India will ratify the deal on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2.Briefing the press, union minister for human resources and development Prakash Javadekar said, “India has been a big player in climate negotiations and by ratifying the Paris deal we have played a decisive part in bringing the historic deal into effect.” Following cabinet clearance, India will now have to deposit the legal instrument of ratification at the United Nations headquarters to legally join the deal.”Since October 2 is a Sunday, we have already requested the United Nations to keep its office open so that we can complete the remaining legal procedures,” Javadekar added.The Paris deal will come into effect in 2020 and will be enforced after at least 55 countries, which contribute to 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, officially ratify it. So far, 61 countries, accounting for 48% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified the deal. With India ratifying the deal on October 2, numbers will go up to 51% as India accounts for 4.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. India has declared that it will scale up share of its non- fossil fuels in its energy to 40%.India’s decision to ratify the Paris deal before the next UN climate change conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, was a climb down from its earlier stand where it had indicated to not join the deal before 2016. It had hedged ratification of the deal to leverage a seat in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. But, with strong indications that the European Union is set to join the deal in October, India seems to have changed its position to join the deal to become a part of those countries who helped to bring the deal into force.When dna asked Javadekar about the change in India’s stance, he said, “We had never declared a specific date for ratification of the Paris deal.”

India responsible with its nuclear technology while Pak has a tense history: Carter

Washington: India has generally shown responsible behavior with nuclear technology while Pakistan’s history of nuclear weapons is entangled in tensions, a top US official has said.

“The landscape of nuclear weapons have changed in the last 25 years,” US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said yesterday in his remarks on “Sustaining Nuclear Deterrence” at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

Carter said while the US has not done much to boost its nuclear arsenal, other countries have added to it both in terms of the number of weapons and delivery options.

He also praised India for showing responsible behaviour with its nuclear technology.

“China also conducts itself professionally in the nuclear arena, despite growing its arsenal in both quality and quantity,” Carter said.

Expressing concern over nuclear technology in North Korea, he said, “It is essential that the US maintains its nuclear deterrence.”

“America’s nuclear deterrence is the bedrock of our security and the highest priority mission of the Department of Defence,” he said.

A file photo of Ashton Carter. APA file photo of Ashton Carter. AP

A file photo of Ashton Carter. AP

Observing the Russia has long been a nuclear power, Carter said the country’s recent saber-rattling and building of new nuclear weapons systems raises serious questions about its leader’s commitment to strategic stability and their regard for long-established abhorrence of using nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations underscore that a diverse and dynamic spectrum of nuclear threat still exists, Carter said.

“Deterrence must be credible, and extended to our allies in the region,” he said, adding that Russia and North Korea are just two countries, though very different ones, that stand out in evolving nuclear landscape.

“In Iran, their nuclear aspirations have been constrained and transparency over their activities increased by last year’s nuclear accord, which, as long as it continues to be implemented, will verifiably prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” he said.

The defence secretary said “Pakistan nuclear weapons are entangled in a history of tension, and while they are not a threat to the United States directly, we work with Pakistan to ensure stability.”

“We didn’t build anything new for the last 25 years, but others did, including Russia, North Korea, China, India, Pakistan and for a period of time, Iran while our allies around the world, in Asia, the Middle East, and NATO, did not,” he said.

He said some nations are unfortunately creating new types of nuclear weapons.

“This is about maintaining deterrence in a world very different from the Cold War as older systems become less effective, we are making sure we continue to preserve strategic stability,” he said.

The US intends to invest USD 108 billion to sustain and recapitalise the nuclear force and associated strategic command, control communications and intelligence systems ranging from increased funding for manpower, equipment, vehicles, and maintenance to technological efforts that will help sustain our bomber fleet, Carter said.

“These investments reflect how we are continuing to implement recommendations from the 2014 Nuclear Enterprise Reviews, which recognise that our country had underinvested in an aging force.

“As a result, we have invested about USD 10 billion over the last two years to make improvements,” he said.

Member who blocked India’s entry into NSG will be held accountable: US

New Delhi: A week after India failed to get entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) due to China-led opposition, the US on Wednesday said one country can break consensus in the atomic trading bloc and insisted that such member should be held accountable.

US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon asserted that the US is committed to ensuring India’s entry into the NSG while expressing “regret” that Washington was unsuccessful in making India a member of the bloc in its pleanary in Seoul last week.

Representational image. News 18

Representational image. News 18

“We understand that in a consensus-based organisation, one country can break consensus. But in order to do so it must be (held) accountable not isolated.

“I think what we need to do going forward is, for both of us India and the US, sit down and take a call what happened in the Seoul, take a close look at the diplomatic process which is significant and see what more we can do and how we can ensure that next time we are successful,” he said during an interactive session at the Foreign Service Institute.

Calling India an “anchor of stability” in the Asia Pacifc region, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon also said what China was doing in South China Sea is “madness” and it wants New Delhi to play a major role in the Indian Ocean.

Shannon said managing the rise of China was a major challenge and that the US wants to work with India to have a strong and comprehensive presence in the Indian Ocean.

Describing India a responsible and important player in the sphere of nuclear non-proliferation, Shannon said, “We are committed to having India join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. We believe that through the kind of work we have done, the civil nuclear agreement, the way India conducted itself, it is worthy of this.”

On India’s NSG bid, he said the US would continue to work for India’s inclusion in the group.

Shannon, who met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar earlier in the day, said India’s recent entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) highlighted that the country is a “responsible and important player in the road to non-proliferation.”

“We regret, in Seoul we and India, were unable to open space necessary to allow India to move into the NSG at this moment,” he said.

When asked whether he thinks India will ratify the Paris climate deal before Obama administration’s tenure got over and, at the same time, it will become a member of the NSG, he said “I hope so”.

He said India has given a commitment to ratify the climate deal.

Shannon said that Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation was a very important symbol of friendship between the two countries.

“Just a few weeks ago, President Obama and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi welcomed the start of preparatory work on a site in Andhra Pradesh for six AP 1000 reactors to be built by an American company.

“This is expected to provide jobs in both countries and bring clean, reliable electricity that will help meet India’s growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.

New Zealand rekindles India’s hopes, but NPT question looms large

Even as Opposition continued to attack the Modi government for failing to seek entry into the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), New Zealand, one of the countries which threw a spanner in the works, on Tuesday clarified that it didn’t oppose India’s entry. New Zealand high commissioner in India Grahame Morton said his country only wanted a criterion to be fixed for the entry of non-NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) states into the 48-nation NSG.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rekindling India’s hopes, he said the Seoul meeting was not an end of the road. “It is a process and talk will continue,” he said.While India has blamed “one country” (read China) for blocking its bid to the elite group, there were other countries that had reservations, which included Turkey, Brazil, Austria, Switzerland and New Zealand. It is now believed that New Zealand and Ireland wanted the criteria for membership to come first, before an announcement that India was meeting those criteria. Reports said Brazil, Mexico and Switzerland also stressed on a criterian, but they made it clear if India’s nuclear record matches with criteria, a parallel announcement of its membership could be made.The envoy said it is very important for NSG members to consider carefully what criteria should be used in assessing applications from non-NPT states. “This is a consistent position,” he said. President Pranab Mukherjee visited New Zealand last May to convince the country to extend its support on the NSG issue. “We believe constructive discussions should lead to a pathway against which India’s application can be properly considered,” he said. The high commissioner further said the NSG doors for India were not closed and a constructive discussion will lead to some solution.Experts, however, believe that in the coming months India will be under considerable pressure to sign and ratify the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which it has been terming as discriminatory.Han Hua, director for Arms Control and Disarmament at Peking University pointed out that if India, is admitted to the NSG as a nuclear weapon state — in the same category as the permanent members of the UN Security Council, it would trigger an outcry among other nuclear-capable states.Meanwhile, Opposition parties continued to criticise Modi, saying his foreign policy lacks coherence, clarity and consistency. Both the Congress and the Left also questioned the government’s Pakistan policy.”Nobody is against engaging with Pakistan but what we have questioned him (Modi) is about not taking the opposition into confidence,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said. He said diplomacy does not require theatrics and needs seriousness, gravitas.CPI-M leader Brinda Karat said there is a “show-based” policy rather than a serious diplomatic initiative to deal with a neighbour which undoubtedly has been encouraging terrorists groups against India. “One day you say you are going to bomb Pakistan. The other day your Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) said you are not going to count the bullets that are going to be used against Pakistan,” Karat said, adding that the Prime Minister had gone to Pakistan to meet Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.

China pitches for ‘mutually acceptable solution’ to issues with India

In a guarded response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments that India has a “whole lot of problems” with China, Beijing on Tuesday said it will be in dialogue with New Delhi to find a “fair, sensible and mutually acceptable solution” to the contentious issues.”We have noted the relevant report. China-India relationship is in a generally good state,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told PTI here in response to questions on Modi’s interview to a private TV news channel.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Common interests between the two countries far outweigh their differences. The Chinese side will work with the Indian side to steer the bilateral relations, and deepen cooperation in different fields,” Hong said. “As for problems in the bilateral relations, the Chinese side will stay in communication and dialogue with the Indian side to find a fair, sensible and mutually acceptable solution,” he said, referring to Modi’s remarks.Modi had said that “We have an ongoing dialogue with China and it should continue to happen. We don’t have one problem with China, we have a whole lot of problems pending with China. There are so many issues.”On India getting the membership of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) ahead of China, Hong said, “we have noted that some of the multilateral export control regimes have changed in one way or another. With that in mind, China is assessing the effectiveness of the MTCR in safeguarding the international non-proliferation regime.”China is yet to be inducted into the 34-member MTCR regime. India became 35th member on Monday. Reports say China, which blocked India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), is lobbying to become member of the MTCR group. The MTCR restricts the proliferation of missiles, rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, or drones, and the technology for systems capable of carrying a payload of 500 kilograms for at least 300 kms.

Indians ‘self-centered and self-righteous’; blocking India’s NSG bid ‘morally legitimate’: China’s state media

Defending China’s opposition to India’s entry into the NSG as ‘morally legitimate’, a state- run daily today hit out at India saying the West has “spoiled” the country making it a “bit smug” in international affairs.In a hard hitting editorial, Global Times said it was rules not China that prevented India’s entry into the 48-nation elite nuclear trading body.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It said at least 10 countries, including China, have opposed the accession of non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) into the NSG.”India is not a signatory to the NPT, but is the most active applicant to join the NSG. Before the Seoul meeting, the Indian media played up the prospects of its bid. Some even claim that among the 48 members of the NSG, 47 have given it a green light, except China,” said the editorial titled ‘Delhi’s NSG bid upset by rules, not Beijing’.”…India wants to be the first exception to join the NSG without signing the NPT. It is morally legitimate for China and other members to upset India’s proposal in defence of principles,” said the tabloid, part of the ruling Communist Party of China’s publications.The daily known for its nationalistic postures said India is emerging as the “golden boy” of the West.”Recent years have seen the Western world giving too many thumbs up to India, but thumbs down to China. India is spoiled. Although the South Asian country’s GDP accounts for only 20 per cent of that of China, it is still a golden boy in the eyes of the West, having a competitive edge and more potential compared to China. The international ‘adulation’ of India makes the country a bit smug in international affairs,” it said.Criticising Indian media and public reaction on India’s failed NSG bid, it, however, said the Indian government has behaved “decently”.”Some Indians are too self-centered and self-righteous. On the contrary, the Indian government behaves decently and is willing to communicate. Throwing a tantrum won’t be an option for New Delhi,” it said.”India’s nationalists should learn how to behave themselves. Now that they wish their country could be a major power, they should know how major powers play their games,” the daily said.Taking exception to the US’ support to India for NSG entry, the editorial said, “US backing adds the biggest impetus to India’s ambition. By cosying up to India, Washington’s India policy actually serves the purpose of containing China.””The US is not the whole world. Its endorsement does not mean India has won the backing of the world. This basic fact, however, has been ignored by India,” it said.

France welcomes India’s accession to Missile Technology Control Regime

France, a strong backer of India’s membership to the multi-lateral export control regimes including NSG, on Monday welcomed India’s accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).”France welcomes India’s commitment to combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. As of 27 June, India is participating in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). France has actively supported its adherence, towards which we have worked jointly. India’s adherence will contribute to better regulating the proliferation of equipment that could be used in missiles or drones capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction,” French Foreign Ministry said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>France had also supported India’s case in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and had asked its members to “positively” decide on its membership application.Earlier, granting membership to India, Netherlands, the current Chair of MTCR, said the MTCR welcomes India into the Regime, convinced that its membership will strengthen the international efforts to prevent proliferation of delivery systems (ballistic missiles or unmanned aircraft) capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.”The MTCR looks forward to India’s full participation in the Regime, including the upcoming annual plenary meeting of the MTCR in the Republic of Korea in October 2016,” it added.

China refutes India’s allegation, says ‘many countries had views’on NSG bid of non-NPT countries

Days after India blamed “one country” for blocking its entry into NSG, China on Monday said “many countries” had expressed their views on the accession of non-NPT countries into the nuclear trading club as it harped on the need for forging consensus over the issue.”As we have learnt, the plenary meeting issued a news release that the meeting held discussions on technical legal and political issues regarding the accession of non-NPT members and agreed to continue with such discussions,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing. Asked about India blaming “one country” of blocking the entry of new members into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by raising procedural objections, Hong said at the plenary meeting in Seoul “many countries had expressed their views on the accession of non-NPT countries into the group.” “We believe that they should forge a consensus and then make a decision based on consultations and thorough discussions regarding the entry of the specific country,” he said, without directly referring to India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to reports about the appointment of Argentine Ambassador Rafael Grossi as the “facilitator” for informal consultations on India’s admission into NSG, Hong said, “We have never heard of any follow up steps.” Hong also did not respond to a question on reports that NSG is expected to meet again later this year after Mexico’s initiative to discuss the entry of non-NPT members into the grouping. “This is what we know about this plenary meeting. I also want to point out that for quite a long time, including in plenary in Seoul, China has been prompting the NSG to have thorough discussions on accession of non-NPT countries,” Hong said.India and Pakistan, who applied for membership of the 48-member NSG, have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which China insists is a must for joining the grouping. China was unrelenting in thwarting India’s NSG bid last week despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to support India’s case on its merits.An upset India later accused “one country”, a clear reference to China, of persistently creating procedural hurdles during the discussions on its application.

India officially inducted in Missile Technology Control Regime

New Delhi: In a diplomatic success, India on Monday became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), three days after it failed to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) following China’s opposition.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“India has joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) this morning. The MTCR Point of Contact in Paris has conveyed the decision regarding IndiaÂ’s accession to the regime through the Embassy of France in New Delhi as well as the Embassies of The Netherlands and Luxembourg,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.

India became the 35th member of the MTCR, of which China awaits membership.

India first applied for the membership in 2008 and China in 2004.

“India would like to thank each of the 34 MTCR Partners for their support for the membership,” the MEA added.

dna Morning Must Reads: Chile beat Argentina in Copa America final; 50 LeT cadres cross into J&K; Updates on India’s NSG bid; and more

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NSG inter-plenary meeting in November to consider India’s bid

India is not out of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) sweepstakes yet. The US and other friendly countries are working behind the scenes to keep the country’s hopes alive.Sources say there is a possibility of an inter-plenary meeting sometime in November to discuss the process for allowing non-Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories. The NSG has set up a panel, headed by Argentine ambassador Rafael Grossi, for informal consultations on India’s membership, they said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After India’s bid to seek a membership failed in Seoul, it attacked China in its official statement, saying “one country” raised procedural hurdles repeatedly. It didn’t, however, mention other countries like Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, Mexico and Brazil, which also raised objections.Even Ireland and New Zealand also blocked India’s entry, wanting the non-NPT criteria to be spelt out first. Ironically, most of the countries which raised objections were the ones where had made a personal outreach. They even prevailed to draft the operative para of the NSG statement that almost closed the door till India agrees to sign the NPT.The NSG statement says: “Participating governments reiterated their firm support for the full, complete and effective implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime.”External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup, however, asserted that India has already implemented all NPT provisions. “As far as NSG is concerned, it said the implementation of NPT is important to the extent that the goalpost remains the implementation of the NPT. We believe we have met the criteria and have all credentials to be an NSG member,” he said.Rejecting that Seoul meeting was a huge setback for Indian diplomacy, Swarup said these are continuing processes and we will continue to work very actively on this. “Today, Indian diplomacy doesn’t have fear of failure. If we don’t get the desired results, it only means we redouble our efforts,” he said.But many analysts wonder why India is so keen on the membership when it already has a waiver for civil nuclear trade. Further, since 2011, the NSG has incorporated a rule that would deny enrichment and reprocessing technologies even to members if they have not signed the NPT. This means even if India becomes a member, it will be condemned to a second-class membership.Meanwhile, former external affairs minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday joined the Opposition, calling it an ’embarrassment’ to India. He said there was no need for India to bid for membership as it stands to ‘lose and not gain’. He even alleged that people sitting in the government were ‘misguiding it every day’.He said India should not have gone to the elite grouping as an ‘applicant’ and should not accept NSG membership as it has already got what it needs. “I come under the category of brain dead. My class is that I do not have the status of giving any suggestion. I am saying this openly that I cannot even give suggestions. But I have publicly opposed the policy of my own government which they are following with Pakistan. If I have some experience of (issues involving) Pakistan and about foreign policy, I can say that nothing will come out of this (present policy). In two years, nothing has come out,” he said.BJP spokesman MJ Akbar, however, maintained that NSG membership was only a matter of time, and not too much time either.

Confident on NSG entry, current hurdle ‘not a diplomatic failure’: Vikas Swarup

Asserting that India would continue to talk with China to further its mission to gain entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday said that New Delhi met the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) criteria, adding the current hurdle was not a diplomatic failure.Speaking to ANI in New Delhi, MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup stated that procedural hurdles were part of such deals, adding that India applied for membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) 10 years ago, and has achieved successful entry into both groups in this week alone.”There are some processes that take a long time. I would evaluate the NSG membership process in that category. Yes, we did not get the desired result from Seoul. Probably it is going to take slightly longer,” Swarup said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talking about the countries, besides China, who had raised oppositions to India joining the NSG, he said there, is a bit of disinformation floating the matter. “As I mentioned earlier, there was only one country which persistently raised procedural hurdles, as a result of which no decision could be arrived at in Seoul and we stick to that stand. As far as other countries are concerned, there are some who raised procedure related issues, but not a single country apart from that one country opposed India’s NSG membership,” Swarup said.With the NSG and China setting the NPT as a crucial criterion for gaining entry, the diplomat asserted that India has already implemented all the provisions meeting the criteria and that it has all the credentials to be part of the NSG.”India is an important member of the nuclear comer club. We are building 38 reactors within the country. Every year more than 150 plus export licenses on nuclear related items are issues by India. This itself tells the need of India to be inside the NSG. Our credentials on non proliferation speak for itself,” Swarup said.Asserting that nobody in the global economy can equate India with Pakistan on the NPT issue, the spokesperson added that India’s current NSG hurdle was not a diplomatic failure. However, he admitted that the results were not as expected. “These are continuing processes. We will continue to work actively on this. Today Indian diplomacy does not fear failure. We will redouble our efforts and double the momentum to achieve the result,” Swarup said. Indicating that India would continue to discuss the matter with China, he added that a relationship only moves forward if both sides are mindful of each other”s concerns and priorities.Meanwhile, the NSG will meet yet again this year to discuss the process of inclusion of countries like India, who have not signed the NPT. A special plenary session of the NSG can be called by the year end. According to sources, there is possibility of India’s inclusion in the NSG, while New Delhi will continue to discuss the issue with China. The NSG earlier on Thursday failed to reach a consensus on New Delhi’s membership application after several members of the 48-member group insisted on adhering to NPT conditions for admission.

India’s NSG dream not over, group to meet again to discuss entry of non-NPT countries

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), whose membership India failed to get two days back, is likely to meet again before the end of the year to specially discuss the process for allowing non-NPT signatories into the 48-nation grouping, thus providing another chance to India to press its claims.

In the face of strong opposition from China and a few other countries, India’s application for membership did not go through at the NSG plenary which concluded in Seoul on Friday. India is not a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and that was the ground used to thwart India’s bid.

Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, called India’s NSG bid as a process which will take a long time.

Further, he said that India will continue to work actively on its bid to join NSG. He added that as far as India is concerned, we have already implemented all NPT provisions.

If the goal post is the implementation of NPT, India has met all criteria and has all the credentials, said Swarup. India’s credentials and track record speaks for itself, he added.

Refusing to term ‘no consensus’ on India’s bid in the NSG plenary at Seoul as “failure”, Swarup agreed that India certainly did not get the expected results.

Without naming any particular country, he said that except that one country, no one else opposed our membership.

Attacking Pakistan of trying to foil India’s bid and equating the two countries, he said, “I don’t think anyone in global community can ever equate India with Pakistan on nuclear non-proliferation issue.”

Diplomatic sources said on Sunday that at the suggestion of Mexico, it has now been decided that another meeting of NSG should be held before the end of the year to consider the criteria for allowing non-NPT signatories like India into the group. Normally, the next meeting of NSG would have been held sometime next year.

Sources said that Mexico’s suggestion was also opposed by China but it found support from a large number of countries including the US. A panel for informal consultations on India’s membership has also been set up by the NSG and it will be headed by Argentine Ambassador Rafael Grossi.

Grossi’s appointment came even as a top US official said that the NSG session in Seoul had ended with a “path forward” for India’s acceptance as a member. “We are confident that we have got a path forward by the end of this year. It needs some work. But we are confident that India would be a full member of the (NSG) regime by the end of the year,” the Obama administration official told PTI in Washington.

China was unrelenting in thwarting India’s NSG bid despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to support India’s case on its merits. An upset India later accused “one country”, a clear reference to China, of persistently creating procedural hurdles during the discussions on its application.

(With inputs from PTI)

India’s NSG bid ‘ill-advised’, membership won’t make much difference: AEC member

Noted scientist and Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) member M R Srinivasan on Saturday said the Centre’s push to gain Nuclear Suppliers Group membership was “unnecessary, unwarranted and ill-advised”, a day after India failed in its bid to clinch membership of the 48-member club.The AEC, a body under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), would have advised the government to desist from such a move had it been consulted, he said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Srinivasan, a former Chairman of the AEC, which looks after atomic energy activities in the country, argued that NSG membership does not make a difference to India’s nuclear commerce as New Delhi has signed agreements with other countries for supply of reactors and uranium. “Unnecessarily, India made a big hype about this admission into the NSG. It was completely unnecessary because the 2008 waiver was already enabling us to have nuclear commerce with nuclear advanced countries and we already have agreements with Russia, France and the United States for reactor projects…,” he said in an interview to PTI today.India also has uranium buying agreement with multiple countries, including Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia, Srinivasan noted, adding it was an “unwarranted and ill-advised initiative” to seek entry into the group of nuclear-supplier countries set up in 1974.The Padma Bhushan awardee said failure to get in NSG would not have adverse impact on India’s nuclear programme as New Delhi has its own capability “for designing and building reactors and fuel manufacturing, reprocessing and so on.” “On the ground, it won’t make any difference (on failure to get NSG membership). We already have a waiver. We are already having cooperation with important countries and countries who are able to supply uranium. There was no need for us to subject ourselves to embarrassment. Unfortunately, our (India’s) self-esteem has been dented (with this failure),” the well-known 86-year-old nuclear scientist said.”(Had) the matter been initially brought to the Atomic Energy Commission, (of) which I am still a member, and if they (the Government) had asked if we (the Government) should proceed with this issue (seeking NSG entry), I would have said the same thing — ‘don’t raise the issue’,” he said.”But it was not brought to the Atomic Energy Commission. It’s unfortunate. It was thought to be the preserve of Foreign Office…Ministry of External Affairs…I do not know. Needless drama (India’s diplomatic push on NSG membership) has gone on for a number of days,” he said.

India’s NSG dream: It’s time to assess true nature of China’s opposition

The Chinese veto on India’s determined bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is Narendra Modi’s first major foreign policy reverse, even though this may not be permanent. But it shows the kind of misplaced assumptions driving his policy in regard to India’s two main adversaries – China and Pakistan. At NSG, the two adversaries combined with some neutrals to block India.

This reverse could have been anticipated by anyone who has an elementary understanding of power play and geopolitics when combined with national interest. Simply put, it is not in China’s national interest to allow India a greater role in international politics. It is not in its interest to ease India’s path to growth where its economic or military clout will challenge China. So why do we expect China to play a positive role when it comes to our interests?

The arguments used by China to halt India’s entry into the NSG may or may not have validity in our eyes. But surely it does have a technical point in saying entry must be based on formal criteria for entry? China has cleverly used India’s non-ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Pakistan’s (equal) claims to block the entry, even garnering stray support from the likes of Turkey, Austria, Brazil, New Zealand, Switzerland and Ireland.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. File photo. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. File photo. PTI

The reason for this is obvious too: China’s global economic and political heft, and the little countries’ own sense of importance, which will diminish if big players like India enter the scene. One can only guess at the behind-the-scenes arm-twisting and blandishments offered by China to the smaller members of the NSG to get them to resist pressures from other big gorillas in the global power league, including the US, and other permanent members of the UN Security Council. The US interest in helping India may be obvious, but what do New Zealand or Turkey (which is fast becoming an Islamist state) gain from backing India?

It is this inability of our strategists to understand elementary principles of global politics and power that is baffling.

While Narendra Modi has worked hard for a deal, one cannot but conclude that our expectation that it could happen this time was unreasonable. We assumed that when some of the western powers are ready to back us, China will fall in line. But that is not the way big power politics works. China has replaced Russia as the world’s No 2 superpower. The growing US-India axis has raised hackles in Beijing, and China is strengthening its alliance with Pakistan to keep us off balance.

This misstep indicates how India seems unprepared to take a hard-headed view of the true nature of the opposition it faces from China. India is both a civilisational and strategic threat to China, especially now that India has chosen to get closer to the US.

In a club where consensus is the norm, it needs only one big power to say no and entry can be barred. So before pushing our case with aggressive diplomacy, we should have got an informal nod from China on whether it would bloc our entry, and at what price it will consider a positive response. This would have been fairly easy to ascertain, but we still ignored the signals and went the whole hog with our bid. Seeking China’s concurrence last was tantamount to ensuring a firm “no” from the Dragon. China is never scared of playing hardball. The only language China understands is power. Handshakes and smiles and selfies matter little to it once it has decided what is in its best interests.

To be sure, we have not lost anything more than face. But it was unnecessary. We now have to up our learning curve on playing hardball. There are clear lessons to ‎be learnt from this avoidable fiasco. Among them:

1) We should not rush into battle before we have our strategy, including an exit strategy, in place. The Abhimanyu logic of getting into a Chakravyuh without knowing how to get out is folly. Raw courage without an exit strategy is fine in a suicide bomber, but not someone who wants to win and stay alive.

2) We have to understand our opposition and enemies better. How did our diplomats and the PMO even start believing we are in with a chance when China has shown unremitting hostility and opposition to our great power ambitions — not just at NSG, but also the UN Security Council, among other things. The first step to winning is to know your enemy.

3) Personal equations are for optics, and not central to success. It is certainly not a substitute for building leverage with key players, including naysayers. Let’s say you want to build leverage with China. The time to begin is not a few weeks before the Seoul meeting, but at least two years before that, if not more. China may be interested in a bargain provided you have something to give in return that it values.

Alternately, you should have the capacity to damage its interests. For example, the India-China trade balance is skewed. China exports three times as much to us as we export to them. If you want leverage this imbalance in your favour in 2018, you should start applying the pressure on Chinese imports little by little from today and start muttering about trade imbalance regularly. We should start erecting non-tariff barriers, starting with one innocuous product, gauge their response, and then extend it to some others. Otherwise, we will end up with Nehru’s flawed “Forward” strategy, without building an ability to counter an aggressive response from China, if it comes. We should, at any rate, start making noises about the quality of Chinese goods, and start clamping down in innocuous products and then do the same with more critical products. You can, at some time, start a trade war if the opponent has more to lose than you. But it takes time to make sure you don’t get charred by the same fire you start.

Then there is the positive side of leverage – the carrot before the stick. We should be dangling big infrastructure contracts and make it clear that award depends on them backing us on NSG or whatever. Pakistan has done this successfully by getting the Chinese interested in their infrastructure. A $28 billion investment is planned in Pakistan. This Chinese investment is not dictated purely by friendship with Pakistan alone, though that has its uses, but by Chinese security interests. China is worried about both Tibet and Xinjiang, and the road to Islamic insurgency in Xinjiang runs through Pakistan. China wants to control that road.

4) We must always have plan B. We can’t bargain with anybody — NSG or UNSC — if they know you need them more than they need you. We should, for example, fast forward work on our thorium-based nuclear technology and fast-breeders. We should, in fact, also plan for a post-nuclear energy world, so that NSG becomes redundant at some point. We should consider developing tactical nuclear weapons and throw a broad hint that it will be used only in case India faces a threat by a stronger power (Hint: China, not Pakistan).

5) Morality has little role in power play. Remember the story of the prodigal son? He is the one who gets the great welcome, not the son who never strayed from the good path. North Korea, the world’s ultimate rogue nation, gets regular doses of bribes from the world for not going further rogue. Pakistan has been repeatedly rewarded for its rogue behaviour on terrorism and proliferation of nuclear technology. China is the world’s big proliferator, but now talks with holy intent on the NPT. Hypocrisy is the language of power. Our own little experiment with ‘bad’ behaviour – Pokhran 2 – got the US to become our ally. So we should know the value of occasional roguery. The world learns to respect those who can give it a bad headache, and India cannot claim access to big power status without the ability to surprise the world with the occasional bad behaviour.

6) Lastly, we have to prepare for the long haul. It does not matter if we enter the NSG this year or in 2020. Today, NSG membership or a UNSC seat looks like a favour to us. We may think it our right, given our size and good behaviour, but this is balderdash. But seven to 10 years hence, when we are a $5 trillion economy, our might will make it our right, especially if our military is proportionately stronger. China waited 20 years after Mao to start asserting its claims on the global stage. We don’t seem to have the patience to wait even five or 10 years. Claiming a big power role is not for economies below $4-5 trillion in GDP. This is not meant to be some arbitrary figure, but is the level at which countries begin to matter globally. Japan and Germany are in this region; Russia nowhere near it. It is a military superpower without the economic heft to make it a superpower. China is already a $11 trillion economy, though its real economic strength may be overstated in dollar terms due to the managed nature of its exchange rate.

At $5 trillion, we will be at least half China’s current size, and in a better position to assert ourselves. At $2 trillion, we don’t matter to many players.

As we withdraw to lick our wounds over NSG, it is worth remembering one simple truth: nice guys finish last.

India NSG membership: Dragon leaves Elephant licking wounds at Seoul

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself leading a heightened diplomacy, India’s bid to secure membership to the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) hit a dead end on Friday. Atleast 16 countries, led by China, raked up procedural issues as well as India not signing Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to scuttle India’s chances to the elite nuclear club. An upset ministry of external affairs (MEA) in a clear reference to Beijing, said one country persistently created procedural “hurdles” during the two-day discussions at Seoul, where the NSG concluded its plenary meeting.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Opposition bayed for the blood of the PM, terming the developments in Seoul as an “embarrassment” to India, many senior diplomats argued that India’s attempt to seek a high-table at the nuclear club was worth trying. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, who was instrumental in getting a waiver from the NSG in 2008, said there was nothing wrong in making a bid. India should no longer fear foreign policy failure. “If India sees an opportunity, New Delhi should be prepared to seize it even if there are risks involved,” he said. Many others also believes that diplomatic blitzkrieg for the NSG was also to test waters for making bid for more higher table, like that of a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.Strategic expert and director of Society for Policies Study, Uday Bhaskar said while the outcome was disappointing, it was not surprising.The NSG works through consensus with even a single country having capacity to halt a decision. Surprise for Indian diplomats was reservations expressed by Brazil and Switzerland. Both of them had earlier committed to support India’s bid. Fresh from Iranian nuclear crisis, the countries forcefully argued to making a case for countries to enter into the NPT, before being allowed to do nuclear trade. They also apprehended, that an exception granted to India would be exploited by other non-NPT countries as well. Pakistan’s application for the membership is also pending before the NSG.The criticism of India was not only that it had not signed the NPT, but also that it had not fulfilled the commitments it made while getting NSG waiver in 2008. Diplomatic sources here said that some countries raised the issue of India’s progress towards CTBT and also separation of its civilian and military nuclear reactors and reports about the safety of nuclear programme.The MEA statement, while blaming one particular country, said signing of the NPT was not necessary as per the NSG rules. But officials here say, there was no problem in signing the NPT if India is formally declared sixth legitimate nuclear power.At the end meeting, the NSG countries in a statement declared “firm support” for “full, complete and effective” implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime. The wording was enough to carry a message that no exception will be made in the case of India. It, however, said the grouping will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the NPT.MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by ‘one country’, a three-hour long discussion took place on Thursday night on the issue of future participation in the NSG, in which an overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership and appraised India’s application positively.“We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward,” he said. He added that an early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed India to move forward on the Paris Climate Change Agreement.Chinese negotiator, Wang Qun, who is director general of China’s Department of Arms Control, told reporters that there was no consensus on the NSG membership of non-NPT countries like India. He insisted that for a country to be a member of NSG, signing of the NPT “is a must”. This rule has not been set by China but by the international community, he added.Chinese stand shows that Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with President Xi Jinping at Tashkent had failed to yield results.Stating that the PM needs to realise that diplomacy needs “depth and seriousness and not public tamasha,” Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma said, “We do not know why India showed its desperation and allowed the country to be equated with Pakistan on the issue.”

India’s NSG bid: Most countries have expressed support, claims MEA

Following the conclusion of the annual plenary session of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) held at Seoul (23-24 June) reports started pouring in that no significant movement was made on India’s membership application. However, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) in a press release, issued on Friday said that “discussions on expansion of membership, or what is called ‘participation’ in NSG, were certainly not hypothetical.” According to the statement issued by the MEA, India made its application for membership on 12 May, “reflecting the progress in its engagement with the NSG”

Getting into the history of India’ bid for the NSG membership, MEA statement said that the “engagement” began in 2004. “A decision on civil nuclear cooperation with India was adopted by consensus by the NSG in September 2008.

Subsequent to that, regular discussions with NSG have taken place. The point to note is that this is not a new subject. In fact, it is one that has been discussed within the NSG at every Plenary since 2011”, read the MEA statement.

File photo. PTIFile photo. PTI

File photo. PTI

According to the MEA, India’s application acquired immediacy in view of India’s INDC envisaging 40% non-fossil power generation capacity by 2030 and an early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed India to move forward on the Paris Agreement.

In an apparent hint to China’s opposition, the MEA in the statement said that “despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by one country, a three-hour long discussion took place last night on the issue of future participation in the NSG”.

The MEA also added that notwithstanding the opposition from “one country” India received support from “overwhelming number of those who took the floor” which reflected the “the broad sentiment to take this matter forward”.

Commenting upon the fact that India is not a signatory to NPT, which is seemingly a major roadblock in India’s entry to the elite club, the statement read, “It has been suggested that India’s participation in the NSG requires it to join the NPT. Our stand on the NPT is well known. But let me underline that in September 2008, the NSG itself addressed this issue”.

It adds, “Paragraph 1 (a) of the September 2008 decision states that the decision on India contributes to the “widest possible implementation of the provisions and objectives of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons”. There is thus no contradiction between the NPT and India’s closer engagement with the NSG”.

Talking about the positive outcomes of India’s entry into NSG, the MEA in the statement said that India believes that an early decision on its application remains in larger global interest and India’s participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure. “It would advance energy security and make a difference to combating climate change. We are confident that the NSG will recognize these benefits as it deliberates further on this issue”, reads the statement.

The MEA further stated that India feels most countries want an early decision and few countries raised issues regarding the process for India’s participation in the NSG. “It is self-evident that process issues would not arise if these countries were actually opposed to our participation. This is corroborated by our own bilateral engagement with each of these countries”, reads the statement.

PM Modi has ‘failed’ on foreign policy front: Kejriwal on NSG issue

As the NSG meeting ended with no decision on India’s membership bid, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he has “failed completely” on foreign policy front.Kejriwal said that the Prime Minister owes an explanation about what he did during his “jaunts” abroad.”PM Modi has completely failed on foreign policy front.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He owes explanation on what did he did on his foreign jaunts?” Kejriwal said on Twitter.On some media reports claiming that Switzerland too has opposed India’s bid to be a NSG member, the AAP leader suggested the development is indicative of Modi’s visit to that country earlier this month not bearing fruit.Switzerland President Johann Schneider-Ammann had on June 6 announced his country’s backing to India’s membership to the group after holding talks with Modi during the visit.”Why? Didn’t the PM visit Switzerland just a few days ago?” Kejriwal asked.The plenary meeting of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) ended in Seoul today with no decision on India’s membership bid as divisions persisted over admitting non-NPT members with China leading the opposition to it.

India remains upbeat despite NSG block, calls for ‘early decision’ on its application

With the two day plenary meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) remaining inconclusive regarding India’s fate in the elite organisation on Friday, New Delhi remained buoyant asserting that an early decision on its application remains in larger global interest and India’s participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that that despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by ‘one country’, a three-hour long discussion took place last night on the issue of future participation in the NSG, in which an overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership and appraised India?s application positively. “We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward,” he said.Stating that India’s membership had been discussed within the NSG at every plenary meeting since 2011, Swarup said that an early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed India to move forward on the Paris Agreement.Talking about China’s claim that India needs to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) first before joining the NSG, he added that there is no contradiction between the NPT and India’s closer engagement with the NSG. “It is also our understanding that most countries want an early decision. A few countries raised issues regarding the process for India’s participation in the NSG. It is self-evident that process issues would not arise if these countries were actually opposed to our participation. This is corroborated by our own bilateral engagement with each of these countries,” Swarup said.Asserting that India believes that an early decision on its application remains in larger global interest, the spokesperson said that India’s participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure, adding that it would also advance energy security and make a difference to combating climate change.”We are confident that the NSG will recognize these benefits as it deliberates further on this issue,” he added.Earlier today, China said that the NSG will not discuss its membership bid into the elite group, adding that New Delhi will first have to sign the NPT, as it is a must and a major criteria set up by the NSG.Speaking to ANI in Seoul, Director-General of the Arms Control Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Qun asserted that India’s membership has ‘never ever’ been on the agenda of the NSG and that there is no such agenda item for the two-day plenary, adding that there is no point of China opposing or supporting India as well as the membership of other countries. “One thing is clear that India?s membership has never ever been taken up as an agenda item. In the two plenary sessions, there was no extraordinary session on this matter. There is no such agenda matter. In the caveat there could be observations and interventions but that’s all,” he said.Earlier, highly placed sources told ANI that China is not the sole opponent to India’s member ship to the NSG, but Brazil, Austria, Ireland, Turkey and New Zealand too have opposed India’s entry, citing it’s not being a signatory of the NPT for nuclear weapons and weapons technology. Meanwhile, on a day on mixed developments for India Canada and Braxil have extended their complete support to New Delhi.According to sources, Brazil today supported India’s bid but called for a common criteria for all non-NPT states. Brazil also said that India has by far a better nuclear proliferation record than Pakistan However, in a complete shocker, Switzerland, who had earlier extended its complete support, has now opposed New Delhi?s bid citing it being a non NPT state. This comes as a jolt for India as earlier, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s visit to Switzerland, the European nation had extended its complete support.

NSG indicates no exception will be made in the case of India

At the end of its two-day plenary here, the NSG on Friday declared its “firm support” for the “full, complete and effective” implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime, a clear indication that no exception will be made in the case of India.The statement by the 48-nation grouping, however, said that it will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Confirming that the India’s application was discussed during the two-day deliberations, the statement, under a sub-heading ‘Outreach’, said it shared information on all aspects of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India.”Participating Governments reiterated their firm support for the full, complete and effective implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime,” it said.The NSG had discussions on the issue of ‘Technical, Legal and Political Aspects of the Participation of non-NPT States in the NSG’ and decided to continue its discussion, the statement said.A special meeting last night had discussed India’s application where China and a number of other countries opposed its entry into NSG saying it was not a signatory of the NPT.The members also expressed concerns regarding continued global proliferation activities and reaffirmed its determination to continue to cooperate closely in order to deter, hinder and prevent the transfer of controlled items or technology that could contribute to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. In the NSG plenary, chaired by Ambassador Song Young-wan of South Korea, the participating governments also called upon all states to exercise vigilance and to ensure effective implementation of all United Nations Security Council Resolutions relevant to the work and purposes of the NSG.The NSG decided that Switzerland will assume the Chairmanship of the NSG from 2017 to 2018 and will host the next plenary.The NSG also welcomed the growing number of states that have harmonised their national export control systems with the NSG guidelines and control lists. It also discussed options for enhancing outreach such as dedicated briefings for and meetings with interested non-NSG partners on the work of the group.It also decided to have a dedicated response to non-NSG partners seeking assistance and practical experience in developing, updating, strengthening and implementing national export control systems.

China remains unmoved, says NSG will not discuss India’s bid

In a major blow to India, China on Friday said that the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) will not discuss its membership bid into the elite group, adding that New Delhi will first have to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), as it is a must and a major criteria set up by the NSG.Director-General of the Arms Control Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Qun asserted that India’s membership has ‘never ever’ been on the agenda of the NSG and that there is no such agenda item for the two-day plenary, adding that there is no point of China opposing or supporting India as well as the membership of other countries. “One thing is clear that India’s membership has never ever been taken up as an agenda item. In the two plenary sessions, there was no extraordinary session on this matter. There is no such agenda matter. In the caveat there could be observations and interventions but that’s all,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, Wang added that Beijing attaches ‘great importance’ to India’s sentiments for the membership of NSG.Talking about India’s chances into the elite group, the Chinese official said that one of the five criteria’s set by the NSG is that the signing of the NPT is a must, adding that the rule was not set by China but by the group as a whole. “China doesn’t support Pakistan or India to enter NSG until they follow rules established by members. NSG consensus is in favour of Non Proliferation Treaty, hope India will join NPT first. The meeting on Thursday was an effort to find consensus on non-NPT state applications, but differences remain,” Wang said.Asserting that China was not isolated in the matter of not accepting India’s bid, he further said that on the question of how to deal with Non-NPT states, the group remains divided. “There are nations which have appreciated the efforts India has made for the NSG but in the meantime, hoped that its membership could be considered within the framework of the NPT. In fact the NPT is really an issue,” Wang added.Earlier, highly placed sources told ANI that China is not the sole opponent to India’s member ship to the NSG, but Brazil, Austria, Ireland, Turkey and New Zealand too have opposed India’s entry, citing it’s not being a signatory of the NPT for nuclear weapons and weapons technology.This development comes in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Tashkent and urging China to make a fair and objectives assessment of New Delhi’s application to the NSG and to judge it on its own merit.

Applications of Pakistan, India for NSG membership cannot be considered in isolation: Pak MoFA

The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said the applications of Pakistan and India for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) could not be considered in isolation from the goal of maintaining strategic stability in South Asia.”It has been Islamabad’s consistent position that the question of Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) membership for non-NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty signatory) states must be dealt with in accordance with a single, uniform, non-discriminatory and fair criteria,” said MoFA spokesperson Mohammed Nafees Zakaria, while answering a question on efforts put in by Pakistan to block India’s entry in the NSG during a media briefing here on Thursday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He, therefore, added, “It is absolutely essential for the NSG to consider the Indian and Pakistani applications simultaneously and in an even-handed manner.” Saying that Islamabad has been making efforts to muster support of the NSG members for its membership, Zakaria added: “Pakistan’s NSG membership is in the interest of nuclear trading countries as it will further promote NSG’s non-proliferation objectives by the inclusion of a state with nuclear supply capabilities and its adherence to NSG Guidelines.”Earlier in the day, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that exception for NSG membership could disturb strategic stability in South Asia. “Pakistan has made notable efforts over the years to strengthen its export controls, command and control and nuclear safety and security. The President also said that any exception given for NSG membership could disturb strategic stability in South Asia,” MoFA said in a statement.Pakistan President Hussain, who held a bilateral meeting with the Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Head of State Council Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), discussed the subject of Pakistan’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).India is seeking its induction into the elite group of NSG.

India’s dash for NSG: Here’s how Pakistan media is booming against it

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads India’s last ditch effort to become a member of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group as time runs out fast in the Seoul plenary session, an equally zealous Pakistani media is leaving no stone unturned to prevent New Delhi’s entry. Here are a few picks from key Pakistani newspapers of late opposing raising questions over India’s NSG bid:

Screenshot from The Express Tribune.Screenshot from The Express Tribune.

Screenshot from The Express Tribune.

The Dawn

NSG cautioned against imposing ‘technological apartheid’ on Pakistan

….Speaking about Pakistan’s credentials for the membership, he said his country met the criteria except for NPT requirement, which India too did not fulfil.

“Pakistan’s application stands on solid grounds of technical experience, capability and well-established commitment to nuclear safety and security. We have a complete programme for harnessing peaceful uses of nuclear energy and have operated secure and safeguarded power plants for 42 years,” Mr Kazmi maintained.

Reminding that the waiver given by the NSG to India affected the strategic stability of South Asia, he worried that an exception for Delhi would further aggravate that balance. He, therefore, advocated that fair and unbiased consideration of the applications would advance the goal of non-proliferation, besides ensuring strategic stability in the region.

Former Permanent Representative at the United Nations in Geneva retired Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on the occasion, said the US was using ‘like-mindedness’ and ‘merit-based’ justification to support India’s case.

In his opinion, India did not even meet the politically-motivated merit of the new US approach, if applied honestly, because of its proliferation record for which it remained sanctioned and not fulfilling the obligations it committed while getting the 2008 NSG waiver. (Read more…)

Geo TV

India doesn’t qualify for NSG membership: US paper

ISLAMABAD: A US newspaper has stated that India does not qualify for becoming a member of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as it needs to hold talks with China and Pakistan to get a seat in the group.

Ideally, President Barack Obama could take advantage of the ties he had built and press for India to adhere to the standards on nuclear proliferation to which other nuclear weapons states adhered to.

America’s relationship with India has blossomed under President Obama, who will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week.India is unlikely to get a green signal for its membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on Thursday (June 9) since it views China as biggest hurdle in the meeting.

The US experts are criticising Chinese policy on this count. According to reports the analysts in the United States believe that India’s NSG application is in a precarious position for several reasons, chief among them being China’s assertion that if the NSG countries make an exception for India, they should do the same for Pakistan which has unblemished record. “Pakistan and China have played their cards really well this time around. Pakistan has an application for NSG membership and China can, therefore, argue what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” said Micheal Krepon, a nuclear proliferation expert and co-founder of the Stimson Center, a think tank in Washington DC. (Read more…)

Pakistan Observer

NSG and the Indo-US trap

Statement by India’s Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swarag, that India will not oppose Pakistan ‘entry into the NSG but would want its application to be considered on merit, is no less than a deception if one understands the use of nuances by the Indian foreign policy leadership. First of all, the statement has been coerced on India because of China’s principled public stance at Geneva meeting blocking consensus on the Indian gatecrash into the NSG.

Once the Chinese opposition to an exclusive Indian membership without Pakistan became clear at the meeting, India enticed the United States who is ever ready to play the Indian fiddle, to be the first to lay the trap through Secretary Kerry’s statement that India would treat Pakistan’s membership of the NSG on merits if it gets into it (off course before Pakistan). The Indian Foreign Secretary has gone over Beijing to lure the Chinese on whose return Sushma Swarag replayed the gambit. (Read more…)

The Express Tribune

Making India an NSG member state will be a mistake

Recently, India initiated efforts to become a member state of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Correspondingly, Pakistan — in an attempt to subdue India — has also submitted an application in its desire to join the club. However, both countries don’t meet the prerequisites to join the NSG. I personally believe that Pakistan needs to focus on stability rather than gaining access to this group.

NSG restricts the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling nuclear commerce. India, the fastest growing economy in the world, has a huge population and an enormous demand for energy. It has various domestic nuclear industries that require international exposure for them to expand their businesses. (Read more…)

‘Making India an NSG member will be a mistake’: How Pakistani media is getting desperate

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads India’s last ditch effort to become a member of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group as time runs out fast in the Seoul plenary session, an equally zealous Pakistani media is leaving no stone unturned to prevent New Delhi’s entry. Here are a few picks from key Pakistani newspapers of late opposing raising questions over India’s NSG bid:

Screenshot from The Express Tribune.Screenshot from The Express Tribune.

Screenshot from The Express Tribune.

The Dawn

NSG cautioned against imposing ‘technological apartheid’ on Pakistan

….Speaking about Pakistan’s credentials for the membership, he said his country met the criteria except for NPT requirement, which India too did not fulfil.

“Pakistan’s application stands on solid grounds of technical experience, capability and well-established commitment to nuclear safety and security. We have a complete programme for harnessing peaceful uses of nuclear energy and have operated secure and safeguarded power plants for 42 years,” Mr Kazmi maintained.

Reminding that the waiver given by the NSG to India affected the strategic stability of South Asia, he worried that an exception for Delhi would further aggravate that balance. He, therefore, advocated that fair and unbiased consideration of the applications would advance the goal of non-proliferation, besides ensuring strategic stability in the region.

Former Permanent Representative at the United Nations in Geneva retired Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on the occasion, said the US was using ‘like-mindedness’ and ‘merit-based’ justification to support India’s case.

In his opinion, India did not even meet the politically-motivated merit of the new US approach, if applied honestly, because of its proliferation record for which it remained sanctioned and not fulfilling the obligations it committed while getting the 2008 NSG waiver. (Read more…)

Geo TV

India doesn’t qualify for NSG membership: US paper

ISLAMABAD: A US newspaper has stated that India does not qualify for becoming a member of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as it needs to hold talks with China and Pakistan to get a seat in the group.

Ideally, President Barack Obama could take advantage of the ties he had built and press for India to adhere to the standards on nuclear proliferation to which other nuclear weapons states adhered to.

America’s relationship with India has blossomed under President Obama, who will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week.India is unlikely to get a green signal for its membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on Thursday (June 9) since it views China as biggest hurdle in the meeting.

The US experts are criticising Chinese policy on this count. According to reports the analysts in the United States believe that India’s NSG application is in a precarious position for several reasons, chief among them being China’s assertion that if the NSG countries make an exception for India, they should do the same for Pakistan which has unblemished record. “Pakistan and China have played their cards really well this time around. Pakistan has an application for NSG membership and China can, therefore, argue what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” said Micheal Krepon, a nuclear proliferation expert and co-founder of the Stimson Center, a think tank in Washington DC. (Read more…)

Pakistan Observer

NSG and the Indo-US trap

Statement by India’s Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swarag, that India will not oppose Pakistan ‘entry into the NSG but would want its application to be considered on merit, is no less than a deception if one understands the use of nuances by the Indian foreign policy leadership. First of all, the statement has been coerced on India because of China’s principled public stance at Geneva meeting blocking consensus on the Indian gatecrash into the NSG.

Once the Chinese opposition to an exclusive Indian membership without Pakistan became clear at the meeting, India enticed the United States who is ever ready to play the Indian fiddle, to be the first to lay the trap through Secretary Kerry’s statement that India would treat Pakistan’s membership of the NSG on merits if it gets into it (off course before Pakistan). The Indian Foreign Secretary has gone over Beijing to lure the Chinese on whose return Sushma Swarag replayed the gambit. (Read more…)

The Express Tribune

Making India an NSG member state will be a mistake

Recently, India initiated efforts to become a member state of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Correspondingly, Pakistan — in an attempt to subdue India — has also submitted an application in its desire to join the club. However, both countries don’t meet the prerequisites to join the NSG. I personally believe that Pakistan needs to focus on stability rather than gaining access to this group.

NSG restricts the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling nuclear commerce. India, the fastest growing economy in the world, has a huge population and an enormous demand for energy. It has various domestic nuclear industries that require international exposure for them to expand their businesses. (Read more…)

PM Modi meets Chinese President Xi, seeks support for India’s NSG bid

As India makes a strong bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Chinese President Xi Jinping and is understood to have sought China’s support for it, seen as very crucial to take forward the process.The outcome of the meeting between Modi and Xi here will determine proceedings at the two-day plenary meeting of the atomic trading club which began in Seoul today, sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though some other countries like Turkey, New Zealand and South Africa have reservations over India’s membership to the 48-nation grouping, India feels their opposition will fizzle out once China takes a favourable position towards New Delhi.China’s position on India’s NSG bid is very crucial, sources said. Modi arrived here today on a two-day visit to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Earlier, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain met Xi on the sidelines of the summit and thanked China for supporting Pakistan’s case for NSG membership.Giving clear indication of its opposition to India’s NSG bid, China on Wednesday had underlined the differences within NSG members, saying “parties are yet to see eye-to-eye on this issue”.While making some right noises of playing “constructive” role on the issue of memberships of India and Pakistan, China maintained that the matter was not on the agenda of the plenary. Here too, Beijing clubbed the two sub-continental neighbours despite the marked difference in their nuclear non-proliferation track record.Coinciding with the SCO summit, the two-day annual plenary of the NSG began today in the South Korean capital during which India’s application for membership of the atomic trading club is likely to be deliberated upon.While the US and France have issued statements ahead of the plenary strongly supporting India’s case and asking members to back New Delhi, China has been unrelenting in its opposition harping on the need to have a criteria for non-NPT countries like India and clubbing India’s case with that of Pakistan for which it is batting.Roughly 20 countries are backing India’s case fully but given that the decisions in NSG are taken by consensus, India faces an uphill task. India is seeking membership of NSG to enable it to trade in and export nuclear technology.

France extends support as India lobbies hard for NSG entry; PM Modi to meet Xi Jinping in Tashkent

From Uzbekistan to South Korea, India has launched a diplomatic blitzkrieg to clinch the membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which is going down to the wire in the face of strong opposition by China and some other countries. While China leading the opposition, demands ‘criteria’ based approach for the entry of non-NPT nations, India has boiled down asking countries to consider ‘merit’ and its “past record of non-proliferation’. The criteria, according to Indian diplomats, was already decided by the NSG, when it granted New Delhi a waiver in 2008.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi will test his diplomatic skills at the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent on Thursday evening, when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who was initially supposed to fly with PM was asked to straight head to Seoul. Senior external affairs ministry official Amandeep Singh Gill, in-charge of ‘Disarmament & International Security’ division, is already in Seoul over past few days to “garner” support as well as “explain” India’s case. While confirming Jaishankar’s flight to Seoul, where the NSG plenary is scheduled on Friday, the ministry of external affairs here has sealed lips , awaiting the outcome of foreign secretary’s behind-the-scenes meetings with movers and shakers. Official sources, here even cautioned the media as well not to jump to any conclusions as this was a delicate and complex process. “At this point, let us not speculate,” sources pleaded to media. A positive headway on Wednesday was that after the US, France came out openly strongly backing India’s s case, saying it will bolster global efforts against nuclear proliferation. A statement issued by the French Foreign Office asked the member states to take a “positive decision” in the Seoul plenary meeting. “France considers that India’s entry into the four multilateral export control regimes (NSG, MTCR, The Australia Group, The Wassenaar Arrangement) will bolster international efforts for combating proliferation,” the statement said. While Turkey, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand have also reservations to grant membership to India without signing the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), China’s opposition has been more strident. India has asserting that in the past France was also granted membership of the NSG, without being an NPT state. Also, there has been no change in India’s record, when it was granted a waiver by the same grouping in 2008.The membership of NSG will enable India to trade in and export nuclear material and technology, making the nuclear business in the country more predictable, to avoid a repeat of a situation, when the US had abruptly stopped fuel supply to Tarapur Atomic Power Stations (TAPS) 1 and 2, in 70;s despite a tripartite agreement with India and the IAEA. The access to the NSG, is expected to help India’s ambitious energy generation programme that involves 63,000 MW energy through nuclear programme by 2030.China said it will play a “constructive” role in the discussions on India’s bid for membership, but maintained that the issue was not on the agenda in Seoul. Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that NSG members had three rounds of unofficial discussions on the entry of India and Pakistan into the grouping. “China hopes to discuss further this issue and will play a constructive role in the discussions,” she said, adding the plenary meeting is only to deliberate on the entry of members who signed the NPT. “As for the entry of non-NPT countries, the group has never put that on its meeting agenda. Based on what we have at hand, the agenda of this year’s Seoul Plenary Meeting circulated by the Chair does not include this issue either,” she said.Meanwhile, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua has alleged that America’s efforts to include India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group was part of a “greater design” to contain China and prevent the resurgence of Russia. He then listed “contain China, prevent the resurgence of Russia and keep the Muslim world in a controlled chaos” as some of the leading trends in the current global power politics, Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune reported. Pakistan’s former permanent representative at the UN in Geneva Zamir Akram said that Pakistan was only opposed to “exclusive membership” of the NSG for India.Against China absolving Pakistan government from proliferation, putting blame rouge scientist A Q Khan, a sources based report from the US, suggested that Islamabad was still selling nuclear materials to North Korea. The report and its timing appears aimed to blunt Pakistan’s chances to seek parity with India.

Foreign Secretary in Seoul for final push to India’s NSG membership bid

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday arrived in the South Korean capital ahead of the crucial NSG Plenary on Thursday, where India is hoping to clinch membership which is being strongly opposed by China and some other countries.Jaishankar, who was closely monitoring the goings-on during the official-level meet of the 48-nation grouping which started on Monday, arrived in Seoul this afternoon to lobby with members to boost India’s prospects of getting membership. “While it is true that Foreign Secretary has flown to Seoul, the NSG plenary hasn’t even begun yet…. This is a delicate and complex process. At this point, let us not speculate,” a government source in New Delhi said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior External Affairs Ministry Official Amandeep Singh Gill, in-charge of ‘Disarmament & International Security’ division, is already in Seoul since Monday to garner support as well as explain India’s case, another source said. Meanwhile, China continued to make ambivalent statements on India’s bid for NSG membership amid clear indications that it was unrelenting in its opposition. Clubbing India and Pakistan once again, the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing said members of Nuclear Suppliers Group have had three round of unofficial discussions on the membership of the two countries. China is seeking to equate India’s impeccable non-proliferation record with that of Pakistan for which it is batting.The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid. While majority of the elite group members backed India’s membership, it is understood that apart from China, countries like Turkey, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand were not in favour of India’s entry into the NSG. China maintains opposition to India’s entry, arguing that it has not signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).India has asserted that being a signatory to the NPT was not essential for joining the NSG as there has been a precedent in this regard, citing the case of France.India is seeking membership of NSG to enable it to trade in and export nuclear technology. The access to the NSG, which regulates the global trade of nuclear technology, is expected to open up the international market for energy-starved India, which has an ambitious energy generation programme. India is looking at 63,000 MW energy requirement through nuclear programme by 2030.The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector.

PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet on sidelines of SCO summit in Tashkent

President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Tashkent beginning tomorrow during which India is expected to seek China’s support for membership of the NSG.”We will release relevant information in due course,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Wednesday.The spokesperson said the two leaders would be meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit in the capital city of Uzbekistan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During his meeting with Xi, Modi is expected to seek China’s support for India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which Beijing is keen on blocking. Hua, however, refuted perception that China is blocking India’s entry into the NSG.”With regard to India’s entry into NSG, I would like correct that the word China blocking India’s membership is not proper,” she said.”The word blocking is not proper. In the NSG agenda we have never seen the topic of non-NPT countries entry. So it does not make sense to say we block the entry,” she said.”As all of us can see all the countries are concerned about this issue and various issues relating to non-NPT countries entry into the NSG has been discussed through friends of chair presided over by the Chair of the NSG,” she said.”We hope that relevant discussion will keep going and Chinese side will take constructive part in the discussion,” she said.

‘Successful efforts’ made against India’s NSG bid, claims Sartaj Aziz

Pakistan has “successfully” blocked India’s bid to gain membership of the NSG, prime minister’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday told parliament. Pakistan has a strong case to gain Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership on merit and non-discriminatory basis, Aziz said in a statement.”We have been making successful efforts against India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group membership,” he said. His remarks came ahead of the key meeting of the 48-nation NSG this week in Seoul when it will take up the applications of India and Pakistan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aziz also told lawmakers that Pakistan was not being isolated and its official foreign policy was being tuned to the new alignments in the world. He said Pakistan would continue to follow the policy of non-interference in affairs of other countries. He said foreign policy was geared for the protection of national interests and nuclear assets.Aziz said that Pakistan’s political role would increase after becoming full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. He said Pakistan enjoyed historical relations with the Muslim world which were based on common religion and recent visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Muslim countries will not affect Pakistan’s ties with them.Earlier, opposition parties blamed the government for failing to safeguard national interests saying Pakistan was being isolated in the region and demanded a review of its foreign policy.

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