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New NSG draft bill may ease India’s entry into elite group

Washington: A draft proposal for accepting new members into the Nuclear Suppliers Group 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.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

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-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.

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 Non-proliferation Treaty (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 28, 2016 19:08 IST

Won’t prejudge Chinese action on UN resolution on Masood Azhar: India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Amidst stiff Chinese opposition to banning of Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar by the UN, India on Friday said it does not want to “prejudge” the outcome at the expiry of the current “hold” by Beijing next weekend.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also reiterated that India’s case against Azhar was very strong and there was no logic in not designating him a terrorist while his outfit- JeM- is proscribed by the United Nations since 2001. Asked what will India do if China sticks to its position and continue with its “hold” beyond the expiry of current extension, he said, “Let’s not prejudge the outcome of what happens…We will of course plan our strategy based on the outcome on that particular day.”Last week, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang in Beijing had said, “As for India’s application for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and listing issue pursuant to resolution of 1267 (to list Masood as terrorist), China’s position remains unchanged.” China had in October extended its “technical hold” on India’s move to get Azhar banned by the UN. The current extension will expire this month-end and if China does not raise further objection, the resolution designating Azhar a terrorist could stand passed automatically.On NIA charge sheeting Azhar and others in the Pathankot attack and how India can get him from Pakistan in the absence of an extradition treaty between the two countries, Swarup said there are certain channels which were available but refused to give any further details.

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.

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.

DNA Evening Must Reads: SC refuses to stay demonetization; App to find ATMs; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Live | War on black money: BJP says ‘decision of the century’, Cong slams ‘arrogant’ PM ModiWhile banks remained closed yesterday on account of Guru Nanak Jayanti in many parts of the country, cash-starved customers again were disappointed today with most of the ATMs running out of the cash. Even at some ATMs which had cash were facing server issues, making people wait in the queue frustrated. Follow the live updates here.2. Supreme Court backs PM Modi’s war on black money, refuses to stay demonetization driveSupreme Court refused to stay the government’s notification demonetizing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes but asked it to spell out the steps taken to minimise public inconvenience. “We will not be granting any stay,” a bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and DY Chandrachud said. Read more here.3. India’s NSG bid: China sticks to tough stand; calls for ‘non-discriminatory’, applicable solutionChina’s remarks came as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at its meeting in Vienna November 11 discussed a formula acting on India’s application to join it. “We believe that the solution should be non-discriminatory and applicable to all non-NPT members and it must not damage the core value of the NSG,” said China, which has been blocking India’s NSG bid. Read more here.4. India v/s England: Fit KL Rahul added to hosts’ squad for 2nd Test”The All India Senior Selection Committee has decided to add India batsman KL Rahul to the Indian squad ahead of the second Test of the Paytm Test Series – 2016 between India and England to be played at Vizag from November 17, 2016,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Ajay Shirke said in a statement. Read more here.5. War on black money: This app can help you find an ATM that actually has cash!Luckily, we now have an app which will save the day. Pune-based money management and payment service Walnut has launched a new feature for its mobile app that will allow users to find a working ATM with cash. Check out how to download the app here.

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.

Will first seek solution to admit non-NPT states in NSG: China on India’s bid

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China on Tuesday 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, a day after the two country’s held talks over India’s bid for membership of the elite grouping.The two sides exchanged views on the enlargement of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other relevant issues, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here about the second round of talks held yesterday between India and China. The talks were held between Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security) Amandeep Singh Gill and his Chinese counterpart Wang Qun. “On India’s accession to the NSG, I can tell you that China’s position is very clear and consistent. China attaches importance to the accession of non-Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) members into the NSG,” Hua said.”We will carry out relevant work based on the Seoul General Assembly and the inter-governmental process that is open and transparent,” she said. “We will seek a solution that applies to all Non-NPT countries and then we will discuss the specific application of relevant non-NPT country,” Hua said. She, however, did not refer to Pakistan, which has also applied for NSG membership along with India.”We are willing to keep communication and contact with India in this regard,” Hua said.In the June Plenary of the 48-member NSG in Seoul, despite strong American support, China had stonewalled India’s bid to get entry into the group on the grounds that it was a not a signatory to the NPT. China had taken a stand that India was not a signatory to the NPT which is necessary for entry of new members into the club which controls nuclear commerce.Yesterday’s talks were the second round of dialogue between Indian and Chinese officials on India’s admission into the NSG with the first round held in September. After holding talks with India, China has held similar round of talks with Pakistan as well. Indian and Chinese officials had described yesterday’s talks as “substantive and constructive”.

New Zealand PM arrives in Delhi, to hold talks with PM Modi tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>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 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 PM 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.

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.

China ready for NSG talks with India but opposed to UN ban on Azhar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, China on Monday said it is ‘ready’ for talks with India on its entry into the NSG but defended extending a hold on India’s bid for a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar, saying Beijing is opposed to anyone making “political gains in the name of counter-terrorism”.Briefing media on Xi’s visit to India this week to take part in the BRICS Summit in Goa, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong again harped on the need to build consensus over the admission of new members in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).Asked if any progress on the issue of India’s admission into NSG can be expected in the meeting between Xi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Li said NSG rules stipulate consensus among the members to admit new ones.”These rules are not to be decided by China alone. On the issue, China and India have maintained good communication and we are ready to continue consultations with India to build consensus and we also hope India can go to other members of the NSG as well,” Li said replying to a question on China’s reservations on India’s admission to the elite nuclear trading club.”In this aspect we are also ready for discussions with India to explore possibilities but things need to be in keeping up with procedures, norms and regulations of the NSG. On this issue, China position is consistent. That is why China has often said international law must be observed,” he said.Xi will travel to Goa to attend the BRICS Summit scheduled to held between October 15-16. The BRICS grouping consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa.While India has blamed one country, without naming China, for stalling its membership in the NSG, both the countries held talks recently to iron out differences.After talks with India, China also has held similar talks with Pakistan, which also applied for membership in the influential grouping.Replying to a question on criticism about China’s move to stall India’s bid for a UN ban on Azhar – head of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad, Li sought to justify Beijing’s recent technical hold in the matter, saying: “China is opposed to all forms of terrorism.” “There should be no double standards on counter- terrorism. Nor should one pursue own political gains in the name of counter-terrorism,” he said in a veiled reference to India, which is pressing for the UN ban against Azhar over his role in the Pathankot terror attack.China had announced the extension of its “technical hold” on India’s bid to get Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN on October 1, days before it was to expire. The hold can continue for upto three months more.

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.”

Member who blocked India’s entry into NSG must be held accountable, says US

A week after India failed to get entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) due to China-led opposition, the US today 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.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”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.

dna Morning Must Reads: PM Modi on Swamy; Brexit’s effect on world markets; Spain’s loss at Euro 2016; and more

1. Amid Jaitley-Swamy face off, Modi castigates ‘fondness for publicity’ and crossing party lineBreaking his silence on BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s diatribe against policy makers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent a clear message of disapproval of ‘fondness for publicity’ or crossing party line. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Export of BrahMos missile to be reality…Days after Indian diplomacy hit a dead end at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), officials at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had a reason to smile, as India joined an exclusive club of countries controlling exports in missile technology. Read more here3. Pampore Attack: CRPF chief contradicts Defence Minister ParrikarDefending his force, director general, K Durga Prasad refuted all allegations that are being hurled at CRPF for not following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) resulting in the grave loss of eight soldiers. Read more here4. Brexit vote, UK political confusion keep world markets on edgeBritain’s vote to leave the European Union continued to reverberate through financial markets, with the pound falling to its lowest level in 31 years, despite government attempts to relieve some of the confusion about the political and economic outlook. Read more here5. Euro 2016 | Watch: Italy dumps holders Spain out of the tournamentHolders Spain were knocked out of Euro 2016 in a 2-0 defeat by Italy on Monday after goals by Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle. Read more here6. Anushka Sharma on the Khans and who is bestAnushka Sharma is one of the first actresses of her generation to work with all the three Khans. Read more here

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.

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.

NSG forms informal panel for India’s bid; likely to meet again this year

Looks like all is not lost yet for India’s bid for NSG membership. According to NDTV, NSG will meet again this year to discuss the process to allow countries like India who have not signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Normally, the next meeting of NSG would have been held sometime next year.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report says that Mexico suggested that another meeting should be held for considering India’s NSG bid. Sources said that Mexico’s suggestion was also opposed by China but it found support from a large number of countries including the US.The report adds that an informal panel has been set up by the NSG to focus on India’s membership and it will headed by Argentinian Ambassador Rafael Grossi.The United States on Friday had said that there is ‘a path forward’ for India to become a full member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group by the end of the year, hours after the group’s plenary meeting ended in Seoul with no decision on India’s membership in face of strong China-led opposition.”We are confident that we have got a path forward by the end of this year,” a top Obama administration official said.”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 official said on condition of anonymity.Vikas Swarup, spokersperson for Ministry of External Affairs said, “There are some processes which take longer,I’d evaluate the NSG membership process in that category. India to continue discussion with China on NSG issue. There is a possibility of India’s inclusion.”He said only China stood between Indi’s NSG bid. “Some countries did raise procedure-related issues but not a single country apart from that one country opposed India’s membership of NSG. There was only one country which persistently raised procedural hurdles as a result of which no decision could be arrived at.”Swarup said India had fulfilled all criteria to become a member of NSG. He said, “Our position on NPT is very well known. As far as NSG is concerned, NSG said implementation of NPT is important. As far as India is concerned we have already implemented all NPT provisions. To the extent that goal post remains implementation of NPT, we believe we have met criteria amd have all credentials to be NSG member.”With agency inputs.

US Senator praises NSG after India failed to get membership

A US Senator has praised the NSG for deciding against granting India membership of the grouping immediately, hours after the elite group’s plenary meeting ended in Seoul with no decision on India’s membership in face of strong China-led opposition. “Today, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) reaffirmed its strong support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by refraining from admitting India,” Junior Democratic Senator from Massachusetts Edward Markey said in a statement.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NSG was founded in response to India’s 1974 nuclear test and it has worked for decades to prevent the sharing of technology that could contribute to the further spread of nuclear weapons, he said yesterday. “If India joined the Nuclear Supplier Group, it would be the only participating government in the organisation that was not a party to the NPT, weakening the NSG’s commitment to the treaty. By refraining from admitting India, the NSG strengthened both the treaty and the broader global nonproliferation regime,” Markey, a known India-basher, said.As a member of the US House of Representative, Markey has unsuccessfully led effort to block passage of civil nuclear deal between India and the US. Last month during a Congressional hearing, Markey had opposed India’s NSG membership application. The NSG yesterday ended its plenary meeting in Seoul with no decision on India’s membership. “The NSG plenary in Seoul earlier in the day decided against granting India membership of the grouping immediately and said it will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said yesterday.China, which had made no secret of its opposition, succeeded in scuttling India’s bid despite a significant majority backing the Indian case. Thirty-eight countries supported India, according to Indian officials.

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.

No decision on India’s NSG membership as China remains adamant

The plenary meeting of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) ended on Friday with no decision on India’s membership bid as divisions persisted over admitting non-NPT members with China leading the opposition to it.China’s stand that India’s membership application cannot be considered because it has not signed the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was backed by nearly 10 other countries which effectively torpedoed India’s bid although it had the strong backing of the US, the UK, France and a majority of countries in the nuclear trading group. Earlier, the chief Chinese negotiator, Wang Qun continued to vehemently oppose India’s membership of NSG. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Wang, 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.Wang warned “if exceptions are allowed here or there on the question of NPT, the international non-proliferation will collapse altogether”.Asked about reports that Beijing was blocking India’s membership, he said the NSG has so far not agreed to any agenda item on participation of non-NPT countries. Therefore, there was no point of China supporting or opposing India’s membership. The anti-India stand taken by China again today clearly shows that Chinese President Xi Jinping has not responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s urgings in Tashkent yesterday that Beijing should support India’s case.Seeking China’s support for India’s membership, Modi had urged Xi to make a “fair and objective” assessment of India’s application which is before the Seoul plenary as the two leaders met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.

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.

US desires to see India’s NSG application be considered

The US desires to see India’s application for NSG membership be considered seriously even as its bid to enter the 48-nation grouping has hit a roadblock reportedly due to Chinese opposition.”We have made clear our desire to see India’s application be seriously considered,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.NSG members are scheduled to continue their meeting in Seoul today wherein countries supporting India’s application are expected to raise it again.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US, Kirby said, has consistently supported and raised India’s membership to the NSG before its other 47 member countries.”We have made very clear our support of their application, and I have no reason to suspect that it was not discussed at this meeting. But what was discussed in the room and where they came down, I just do not know.”I will see what we can do to find out for you, but I do not know how complete an answer I am going to be able to give you,” Kirby added.China “belligerently” led opposition to India’s membership of NSG at a three-hour post-dinner meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group here last night which ended in a deadlock.Preceding the two-day plenary of the 48-member NSG, which began yesterday, China had repeatedly said that India’s membership was not on the agenda and is said to have made every effort to prevent any discussion on India’s bid.Indian official sources said that China was joined by Austria, Ireland and Brazil among other countries which questioned as to how a country like India which had not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can be admitted to the grouping.

‘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.

Pakistan says it is only opposed to ‘exclusive membership’ of NSG for India

A day ahead of the crucial Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meet in Seoul over India and Pakistan’s membership in the elite group, Pakistan’s former permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva Zamir Akram said, that Islamabad was only opposed to the ‘exclusive membership’ of India.According to Dawn, Akram was speaking at a roundtable discussion organised by the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), on the implications of the upcoming plenary session of the NSG on June 23-24 in Seoul, South Korea, where deliberations will be held on membership for non-NPT states, including Pakistan and India. “Pakistan supports the evolution of criteria that can be applied across the board,” Akram said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking at the roundtable, Akram warned about the likely implications if India alone was admitted into the NSG, including dimming of future prospects for Pakistan’s entry into the club and likely growth in Indian nuclear arsenal. SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that India’s alone entry into the NSG would put back Pakistani efforts for developing its infrastructure and industry by decades.These comments follow the statement by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj that India does not object to any country, including Pakistan to join the NSG.China is the leading challenger to the West-supported bid to get India into the 48-member nuclear trade cartel. According to the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, “China maintains that the NSG fully discuss the accession of non-NPT countries and make decisions based on consultation in a way acceptable to all”.

‘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.

Pakistan is ‘making successful efforts’ against India’s NSG inclusion, says Sartaj Aziz

Islamabad: Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s top foreign affairs advisor, on Tuesday said that Islamabad was “making successful efforts” against New Delhi’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership bid, ahead of the bloc important plenary in Seoul this week.

Aziz’s remarks come days after India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that New Delhi was “not opposed” to Islamabad’s entry to the 48-nation bloc.

File image of Sartaj Aziz. Reuters

File image of Sartaj Aziz. Reuters

India and Pakistan have both applied for the NSG membership and both countries are lobbying with member nations to seek support for their bids. Pakistan’s all-weather friend China has been consistently opposing India’s bid for NSG membership.

Aziz was briefing the National Assembly to counter opposition criticism that Pakistan lacks a foreign minister and was losing out in influencing friendly countries in the face of India’s growing diplomatic outreach.

Aziz rejected the accusations and said that Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi’s recent visits to Muslim countries – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Iran – haven’t led to “deterioration” in Islamabad’s relation with those countries.

The advisor strongly denied that Modi’s visits to the Islamic countries were an example of the “failure of Pakistan’s foreign policy” and added that Islamabad is “working upon its policy of non-interference” in the affairs of other states.

“The impression was given that our (Pakistan’s) relations with Muslim countries have deteriorated after Modi paid visit to two such countries,” he said.

He highlighted Pakistan’s “historic and religious” relations with Muslim countries, saying that ties with Iran are “moving in the right direction”, and that after the lifting of sanctions against Tehran, Pakistan-Iran relations are getting strengthened.

He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), CASA-1000, TAPI and Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project are concrete achievements which will help increase connectivity with the region. He pointed out that with the SCO membership, Pakistan’s political role in the region will be enhanced.

Aziz reaffirmed that Pakistan has not been isolated in the region, but “after 9/11, Muslim countries suffered hostilities” and that Islamabad’s “successful foreign policies helped in securing Pakistan”.

The foreign affairs advisor said that compared to other countries in the region, Pakistan’s foreign ministry budget is very low. “In the last three years the budget has only increased by 14 percent.”

However, National Assembly members were unmoved by Aziz’s long speech, and many slammed him.

“At this age Sartaj Aziz should pray on a prayer mat,” opposition lawmaker Jamshed Dasti said, taking a jibe at Aziz, who is 87.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shireen Mazari too lamented the absence of a foreign minister in the country. “As a result, there is no direction to the country’s foreign policy,” she said.

Door open for discussions on India’s NSG bid: China

China, which has been opposing India’s NSG membership bid, on Tuesday for the first time said the “door is open” for discussions on the issue but took a swipe at the US for backing India, saying it was one of those who made the rule against the entry of non-NPT countries into NSG.Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, asked the 48-member NSG to “stay focussed” on whether the criteria should be changed on entry of non-NPT countries into the elite group. “I have not seen the US statement supporting India. But US is one of those who made the rule that non-NPT countries should not join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing. “The relevant rule was made on the principle that NPT was the cornerstone of the NSG,” she said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hua made the remarks in response to a question on US asking members of the nuclear trading club to support India’s application. Later talking to Indian media, Hua said while discussions are going on among the NSG members, the admission of new members is not listed in the current plenary meeting in Seoul. “The door is open. The room is there. We never said we are against who (a country). We did not target any country, India or Pakistan,” Hua said.China for its part cares about non-proliferation treaty (NPT) as criteria for admission of the new members into the NSG, she said. “This is the core of the international non-proliferation. If the non-proliferation regime is changed how can we explain the Iranian nuclear treaty,” Hua argued. “We just had a treaty with Iran. We have North Korean issues there…So this concerns the core issue whether NPT and non proliferation system could be impacted by this,” she said.Reiterating what she said yesterday, Hua stated that, “According to my understanding, it (entry of new members) is not on the agenda of the NSG meeting in Seoul.” “The door is open for the admission of the non-NPT members. It is never closed. It is open. But the members of the NSG should stay focussed on whether the criteria should be changed and whether non-NPT members should be admitted into the NSG,” she said.On US’ backing for India’s NSG bid, Hua said, “We care about rules. US just sets the rules. This is not an issue between China and India but (about) the pillar for non-proliferation system,” she said. Amid China’s opposition, the US has given a fresh push to India’s NSG membership bid by asking members of the elite club to support India’s entry into the grouping during the ongoing plenary meeting in Seoul. “We believe, and this has been US policy for some time, that India is ready for membership and the United States calls on participating governments to support India’s application at the plenary session of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.”At the same time, participating governments will need to reach a consensus decision in order to admit any applicant into the group and the United States will certainly be advocating for India’s membership,” Earnest said as the 5-day annual plenary session of the 48-member club began in the South Korean capital yesterday. 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). However, it has been batting for its close ally Pakistan’s entry if NSG extends any exemption for India. Pakistan applied for NSG membership, a week after India submitted its membership application.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 the 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. India has been reaching out to NSG member countries seeking support for its entry. The NSG works under the principle of consensus and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid.

Pak NSG bid: Pakistan only hurdle to Indian ‘hegemony’ in South Asia, says Sartaj Aziz

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has asserted that India has always tried to ‘maintain its hegemony’ in the South Asian region but Islamabad has effectively stood in New Delhi’s way.”But Pakistan rejected this hegemony and has effectively protected its interests and its stance over Kashmir, nuclear deterrence and conventional balance,” The Dawn quoted Aziz as saying in an interview with Samaa TV. He maintained that “protecting Pakistan’s sovereignty and vital interests is a great achievement as a nation”. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This comes in the wake of the upcoming Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) meeting in Seoul on June 23rd and 24th where the membership bid of India and Pakistan will be raised. Earleir, Aziz reportedly had telephonic conversations with his counterparts in Russia, South Korea and New Zealand in a bid to get their nod for Pakistan’s NSG membership. In its case against India’s bid in the NSG, Pakistan has claimed that adding India in the elite group could ‘affect the strategic stability of South Asia’. Meanwhile, with China playing a dampener saying that India’s admission to the elite NSG is not on the agenda of the grouping which began its plenary session in Seoul yesterday, the United States has called on the participating governments of the NSG to support India’s application.

Any exemption to India for NSG entry must also apply to Pakistan, says China

In an unusual move, China’s state media on Tuesday defended Pakistan’s nuclear record, saying it was AQ Khan who was responsible for atomic proliferation which was not backed by the government and argued that any exemption to India for NSG entry should also be given to Pakistan. “While India strives for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) inclusion, it prevents Pakistan from joining by insisting on the latter’s bad record of nuclear proliferation. Actually, the proliferation carried out by Pakistan was done by Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan’s chief nuclear scientist, and was not an official policy of the Pakistani government,” an article in the state-run Global Times said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Khan was punished by the government afterwards with several years of house arrest. If the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the NSG can give India an exemption, it should apply to Pakistan as well,” it said. This is probably the first time Chinese official media has directly made a case for Pakistan’s inclusion in the NSG. China officially maintains that there should be consensus about admitting all members. “China and other countries are opposed to NSG including India while excluding Pakistan, because it means solving India’s problem but creating another bigger problem. If India joins hands with Pakistan to seek NSG membership, it seems more pragmatic than joining alone,” said the article titled ‘China no barrier to India joining NSG’.India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998, which were condemned by the international community, and the US, the EU and Japan all imposed harsh sanctions on the two countries. After the September 11 attacks, the sanctions were gradually lifted. The US even signed with India a Civil Nuclear Agreement and backs India’s bid to join NSG. But the issue of the legitimacy of India’s “nuclear status” has not been solved, it said. “If India and Pakistan are allowed to join the NPT and adopt the CTBT, it will tarnish the authority of both. How can nuclear weapons development in other countries such as North Korea, Iran and Israel be dealt with,” the article said. The article put the blame of proliferation from Pakistan squarely on nuclear scientist Khan. Khan was disgraced in 2004 when he was forced to accept responsibility for nuclear technology proliferation and was made to live a life of official house arrest. In 2009, the Islamabad High Court declared Khan to be a free citizen of Pakistan, allowing him free movement inside the country. The article came as the NSG began its meeting in Seoul, even as the Chinese foreign ministry said India’s admission is not on the agenda. The NSG remains divided over non-NPT countries like India becoming its members, China’s Foreign Ministry had said yesterday less than 24 hours after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had exuded hope that “we would be able to convince China to support our entry to the NSG.”

NSG to take up Pakistan, India’s membership requests this week

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) 2016 annual plenary which begins in Seoul on Monday, will take up membership requests from both India and Pakistan on June 23-24.According to Dawn, Pakistan submitted its membership application on May 19, a week after India, which applied on May 12.With massive global support, India stands as a favourite to join the 48-nation group, with an active support from the United States, Russia, Britain, France and other world powers.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China, however, stands as an obstacle to India’s application, arguing that it would enhance a nuclear competition in South Asia by isolating Pakistan.China wants NSG to admit Pakistan as well, pointing out that both India and Pakistan possessed nuclear weapons and had not signed the NPT.While China may not force the NSG to admit Pakistan, it can block India as new members are admitted with a consensus of the existing members.Pakistan reportedly fears that joining the NSG would increase India’s access to nuclear technology, which could also enhance its weapons programme, even if indirectly.After a June 7 meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House, US President Barack Obama welcomed India’s application to join NSG, and re-affirmed that New Delhi was ready for membership.Earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry sent a letter to the NSG members, saying they should ‘agree not to block consensus on Indian admission’.India, though not a member, enjoys the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules for its atomic cooperation deal with the US.The NSG is one of the main tools for controlling the exports and proliferation of materials that could potentially be used in making weapons of mass destruction. It also tacks the black market trade of nuclear technologies.

Pakistan’s nuclear programme has increased risk of conflict with India: US Congressional report

Pakistan’s “full spectrum deterrence” nuclear doctrine and increasing fissile production capability have increased the risk of a nuclear conflict with India, a Congressional report has said amid Pakistan’s efforts to drum up support for its NSG membership bid.”Islamabad’s expansion of its nuclear arsenal, development of new types of nuclear weapons, and adoption of a doctrine called ‘full spectrum deterrence’ have led some observers to express concern about an increased risk of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India, which also continues to expand its nuclear arsenal,” the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal probably consists of approximately 110-130 nuclear warheads, although it could have more, said the report ‘Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons’, authored by Paul K Kerr, analyst in non-proliferation, and Mary Beth Nikitin, specialist in non-proliferation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the copy of the report dated June 14, which was obtained by PTI, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against it. CRS is the independent research wing of the US Congress, which periodically prepares reports on issues of interest to American lawmakers for information purpose only and does not represent the official position of the US Congress.Running into 30 pages, the report comes in the wake of Pakistan lobbying at the Capitol Hill and before the US government in support of its membership to the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group.Though noting that Pakistan in recent years has taken a number of steps to increase international confidence in the security of its nuclear arsenal, the CRS report observed that instability in Pakistan has called the extent and durability of these reforms into question.”Some observers fear radical takeover of the Pakistani government or diversion of material or technology by personnel within Pakistan’s nuclear complex. While US and Pakistani officials continue to express confidence in controls over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, continued instability in the country could impact these safeguards,” CRS said in its report meant for the lawmakers to take an informed decision. CRS said the current status of Pakistan’s nuclear export network is unclear, although most official US reports indicate that, at the least, it has been damaged considerably.Referring to Pakistan’s NSG membership application, the CRS said according to US law, the Obama Administration could apparently back Islamabad’s NSG membership without congressional approval. In the past few weeks, top Pakistani leadership including its Ambassador to the US has been writing letters to lawmakers and meeting Government officials to push for its NSG bid.

US urges NSG members to support India’s membership

The US has urged members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to support India’s membership into the elite grouping. “The United States calls on Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) participating governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG plenary, which I think is next week,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I’m not going to get ahead of how that’s going to go or hypothesise and speculate about where it’s going to go, but we’ve made clear that we support the application,” Kirby said in response to a question.During the US visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, US President Barack Obama welcomed India’s application to the 48-member grouping. The US has been pushing for India’s NSG membership.Earlier, ahead of a meeting here US Secretary of State John Kerry had written a letter to the NSG member countries which are not supportive of India’s bid, saying they should “agree not to block consensus on Indian admission”.A joint statement issued after talks between Modi and Obama said the US called on NSG participating governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary later this month. India, though not a member, enjoys the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules for its atomic cooperation deal with the US.The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid. The US support has come a day after China’s official media expressed concern about India’s entry, saying it will “shake” the strategic balance in South Asia and make India a “legitimate” nuclear power.

India ‘inching closer’ to NSG membership; entry will shake strategic balance in South Asia: Chinese State media

Acknowledging that India is “inching closer” to get membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Chinese official media on Thursday said if New Delhi is admitted into the elite grouping, “nuclear balance” between India and Pakistan will be broken.Stating that India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will “shake strategic balance in South Asia and even cast a cloud over peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region”, an article in the state-run ‘Global Times’ however said China could support India’s inclusion in the 48 member nuclear club if it “played by rules”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Written by Fu Xiaoqiang research fellow with the state-run think tank China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, the article a second in as many days by the same daily highlights China’s strident and vocal opposition to India’s entry into NSG and concerns that its all weather ally Pakistan will be left behind because “entry into the NSG will make it (India) a ‘legitimate nuclear power’.” “New Delhi seems to have inched closer to NSG membership after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gained backing from the US, Swiss and Mexico in its bid to join the elite nuclear club earlier this month,” the article said mentioning for the first time India’s progress in getting support from Mexico and Switzerland. “Becoming a member of the NSG, a bloc that governs civilian nuclear trade worldwide, will grant India global acceptance as a legitimate nuclear power,” said the article titled “Beijing could support India’s NSG accession path if it plays by rules”.A commentary in the same daily on June 14 had said that India’s admission into NSG would “jeopardise” China’s national interest and touch a “raw nerve” in Pakistan. “If it joins the group, New Delhi will be able to import civilian nuclear technology and fuels from the international market more conveniently, while saving its domestic nuclear materials for military use,” said the article in the Global Times, a tabloid daily which is part of the ruling Communist Party of China group of publications headed by People’s Daily.”The major goal for India’s NSG ambition is to obtain an edge over Islamabad in nuclear capabilities. Once New Delhi gets the membership first, the nuclear balance between India and Pakistan will be broken,” it said.”As a result, Pakistan’s strategic interests will be threatened, which will in turn shake the strategic balance in South Asia, and even cast a cloud over peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region,” it said.The reason why India has scored a big win in garnering support for its NSG membership from some countries is because Washington has started to treat New Delhi as part of the US alliance, the write-up said. “It was only several years ago that Modi could not even get a US visa, but now he has visited the US more often than any other country during his two years in office,” it said.The US recognised New Delhi as a “major defence partner” during Modi’s recent visit, meaning that the White House has given India the treatment as a US military ally, it said. The article said that over the years, the US has been “bending the rules” to back India’s nuclear projects.”Against the backdrop of Washington’s accelerated pace of promoting its pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, it will be highly likely to keep supporting New Delhi’s nuclear ambitions, in order to make it a stronger power to contain China,” it said. The attitude of the US has had and will undoubtedly have an impact on some other nations. For those countries which also wish to put a finger in the pie of India’s market, many of them begin to back India’s NSG membership, or at least not oppose it, the article said in apparent reference to majority of the countries in the NSG supporting India’s entry.”However, as a country that has signed neither the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) nor the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), India is not yet qualified for accession into the NSG,” it said.”That’s why the bloc is still divided over the case, and countries including New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria have expressed their firm objections to India’s membership,” it said.The article made no mention of problems faced by Pakistan in getting into the NSG due to its past record of proliferating the nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea, where as India is seeking entry into group based on clean non-proliferation record.”As a crucial defender of the international system against nuclear proliferation, China does not wish to see the political and legal foundation of global nuclear security to be challenged by any party who does not abide by rules,” the article said without referring to Beijing’s own nuclear power cooperation with Islamabad in supplying a number of nuclear reactors, including two 1100 mw reactors currently under construction in Karachi.”For those countries that are developing nuclear technology without the acceptance of the international community, perhaps counting them into the non-proliferation mechanism will better safeguard nuclear security,” it said.But at the same the article said China backs India’s entry if a fair and just principle is worked out through consensus.”Yet before that, a fair and just principle must be made through common consensus of all current members of the NSG, rather than the US and India’s reckless pushing at the cost of rule-breaking”.”So far, all NSG members have signed the NPT. So the question is, if any non-signatory of the treaty wants to join the group, under what condition can it be accepted? If such a standard is to be made one day, then it will be possible for both India and Pakistan to become part of the group,” it said.”Beijing welcomes New Delhi playing a role as a major power in global governance, including producing positive effect in a nuclear non-proliferation organisation,” it said.”As long as all NSG members reach a consensus over how a non-NPT member could join the NSG and India promises to comply with stipulations over the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons while sticking to its policy of independence and self-reliance, China could support New Delhi’s path toward the club,” it said.

China transgresses Indian borders for the first time this year; NSG scuffle likely reason

In what the Chinese termed as “temporary transgression,” about 250 China’s Peoples Liberation Army soldiers entered Arunachal Pradesh’s east district of Kameng four days ago, defence sources said. The incident happened in Yangste, East Kameng district on 9 June is yet another instance of Chinese incursion.

The soldiers, however, went back within hours, said the defence sources. Incidentally, the Chinese crossing-over happened at a time when Beijing had hardened its opposition against India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). When Manohar Parrikar visited China in April, issues of strategic concerns and implementation of agreements to reduce tensions were discussed by the two governments.

Source: Ministry of Home AffairsSource: Ministry of Home Affairs

Source: Ministry of Home Affairs

This is the first known transgression by the Chinese army this year in the region, which China claims is part of its territory. The Chinese troops spent about three hours on this side of the border before going back to their territory, the sources said. In the past, however, China has on many occasions “transgressed” into the Indian borders. According to a BBC report, the Home Ministry claims that there have been “334 transgressions by Chinese troops over the Indian border” in 2014 alone.

According Harsh V Pant of BBC, such incursions tend to take place between the two countries before major bilateral meets. Indian officials have in the past reasoned China’s incursions as a “result of differing perceptions about line of truth,” according to Brahma Chellaney in The Sunday Guardian. However, he says that in the Indo-Chinese disputes, India has “always been on the defensive” and that Beijing’s “public language” signals Premier Zhou Enlai’s words, “to teach India a lesson..

DS Rajan in his paper, Chinese intrusions into India’s borders ever end? describes that the People’s Republic of China ups the intrusions during or close to periods of exchanges of high-level visits between India and China. With India doing everything it can to secure a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China is in stark opposition.

According to Jaideep Prabhu in an earlier article on Firstpost, China is insistent when the criteria for membership is clear, there should be no exceptions, including India because it would weaken the non-proliferation regime.

Prakash Nanda argued that the Chinese objection to India’s membership in NSG is “political” and that China cannot bear that India is emerging as a recognisable force and that for China, “India is part of the strategic periphery which China has historically sought to weaken, control, or diplomatically manipulate.”

Here’s a look at some of the serious intrusions made by Chinese troops in Indian borders:

with inputs from PTI

NSG membership: India’s bid to be deliberated upon in next plenary in Seoul later this month

India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group is expected to be deliberated upon by the atomic trading club at its plenary later this month in Seoul as a meeting in Vienna on India’s bid remained inconclusive.Though the US was strongly pushing India’s case and most member countries supported it, it was China which opposed it arguing that the NSG should not relax specific criteria for new applicants. The NSG controls access to sensitive nuclear technology.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A number of countries, which were initially opposed to India’s bid on the ground that it was yet to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), eased their positions and were ready to work out a compromise. However, China stuck to its position.
ALSO READ NSG membership: Most members positive to India’s bid, China still playing spoilerIn the meeting, China did not openly oppose India’s membership directly but linked it to signing of NPT.The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle India’s bid.
ALSO READ NSG membership: Pakistan steps up diplomatic efforts, reaches out to Mexico, Italy seeking supportBesides China, the member countries in the 48-nation group which were opposed to India’s membership were New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria.Sources here said chair of the NSG has taken note of views expressed by member countries and will list the matter for further discussion at NSG plenary scheduled to be held in Seoul on June 24.
ALSO READ NSG membership: China continues to oppose India’s bid as 48-nation club meet in ViennaIt is understood India was hopeful of getting support from China as it had supported India’s case in 2008 when India got a waiver from the NSG to allow US’ nuclear trade with India.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.Mexico yesterday backed India’s NSG bid during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi there. The Mexican support followed that of the US and Switzerland. Japan too has expressed its support for India’s inclusion in the grouping.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.The US has been pushing for India’s membership.Ahead of the meeting here, US Secretary of State John Kerry had written a letter to the NSG member countries which are not supportive of India’s bid, saying they should “agree not to block consensus on Indian admission”.A joint statement issued after talks between Modi and Obama said the US called on NSG participating governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary later this month.

Resistance to India joining nuclear suppliers group softens, but China defiant

A US-led push for India to join a club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology made some headway on Thursday as several opponents appeared more willing to work towards a compromise, but China remained defiant.The 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by restricting the sale of items that can be used to make those arms. It was set up in response to India’s first nuclear test in 1974.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington, even though India has developed atomic weapons and never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the main global arms control pact.
ALSO READ NSG membership: China continues to oppose India’s bid as 48-nation club meet in ViennaBut China on Thursday maintained its position that the Non-Proliferation Treaty is central to the NSG, diplomats said.The handful of other nations resisting India’s admission to the group, including South Africa, New Zealand and Turkey, softened their stance somewhat, opening the door to a process under which non-NPT states such as India might join, diplomats said.
ALSO READ India secures another country’s backing in its bid to become member of NSG: Mexico!”There’s movement, including towards a process, but we’d have to see what that process would look like,” one diplomat said after the closed-door talks on Thursday aimed at preparing for an annual NSG plenary meeting in Seoul later this month.Opponents argue that granting India membership would further undermine efforts to prevent proliferation. It would also infuriate India’s rival Pakistan, an ally of China’s, which has responded to India’s membership bid with one of its own.
ALSO READ India plans expanded missile export drive, with China on its mindPakistan joining would be unacceptable to many, given its track record. The father of its nuclear weapons programme ran an illicit network for years that sold nuclear secrets to countries including North Korea and Iran.”By bringing India on board, it’s a slap in the face of the entire non-proliferation regime,” a diplomatic source from a country resisting India’s bid said on condition of anonymity.Washington has been pressuring hold-outs, and Thursday’s meeting was a chance to see how strong opposition is.US Secretary of State John Kerry wrote to members asking them “not to block consensus on Indian admission to the NSG” in a letter seen by Reuters and dated Friday.Most of the hold-outs argue that if India is to be admitted, it should be under criteria that apply equally to all states rather than under a “tailor-made” solution for a U.S. ally.Mexico’s president said on Wednesday his country now backs India’s membership bid. One Vienna-based diplomat said it had softened its stance but still opposed the idea of India joining under conditions that did not apply equally to all.

‘Five days, five countries!’, PM Modi finally heads back home

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday left for home after wrapping up a brief visit to Mexico on the final leg of his five-nation tour, which also took him to the US and Afghanistan.”Thank you Mexico. A new era in India-Mexico ties has begun and this relationship is going to benefit our people and the entire world,” Modi tweeted. “Five days, five countries! After a productive visit to Mexico, the last leg of his journey, PM departs for Delhi,” official spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup tweeted.The tour, that began on June 4, saw Modi visiting Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, the US and Mexico with an aim to bolster ties.Besides addressing a joint sitting of the US Congress, Modi received the backing of two key Nuclear Suppliers Group members – Switzerland and Mexico – for its bid to secure the membership of the 48-nation bloc. He also held wide-ranging talks with President Barack Obama at the White House following which the US recognised India as a “major defence partner”.

Pakistan express concern over India’s interceptor missile test

Pakistan has expressed serious concern over India’s recent development of an anti-ballistic missile system, saying that it may give India a false sense of security, leading to unexpected complications which are contrary to its policy of a friendly neighbourhood.India had successfully test-fired indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast on May 15. The criticism came in the meeting of Senate on Tuesday, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the government’s response to the Senate. “Massive conventional nuclear and missile development programmes pursued by India are now leading to nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean,” he said.”The development of an anti-ballistic missile system (ABM) may give India a false sense of security, leading to unexpected complications. Such actions are also contrary to the policy of a peaceful and friendly neighbourhood, which our prime minister (Nawaz Sharif) has repeatedly espoused,” Aziz said.”Pakistan has serious concerns over these developments and will take all necessary measures to augment its defence capabilities,” he said. “The balance of power has been disturbed in South Asia the way it was disturbed following India’s nuclear tests in 1998,” said Senator Javed Abbasi of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).”I’m not aware of our military’s response, but I suggest that the security establishment take note of the Indian interceptor missile test and devise a strategy accordingly,” he said. “The (interceptor missile) test has increased military threats from India,” said Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of opposition Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ).Referring to an upcoming meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Seoul, Mushahid said ground was being paved for India’s elevation to the NSG. “This is our diplomatic failure. The Indians are encircling us from all sides. Even our immediate neighbours, like Afghanistan and Iran, have gone to India. It’s a result of our failed diplomacy and traditionally passive foreign policy,” he added.Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar blamed flawed security policies for the foreign policy debacle. “Isn’t it a reality that we protected non-state actors to further our security agenda? Our age-old policy of harbouring non-state actors is taking toll on us,” he said. Chairman of the Senate Raza Rabbani said a clear strategy must be devised to respond to the situation created by India’s missile test.

Modi’s US visit: India cannot rise by ‘containing’ China, says Chinese state media

India cannot rise by “containing” China or picking one side against the other, a Chinese state- run paper said on Wednesday, taking note of the Indo-US ties which are being ramped up to an “unprecedented level”.”Four visits to the US and seven meetings with President Barack Obama in two years – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ramped up the India-US relationship to an unprecedented level. How the two countries will engage with each other has raised heated discussions,” an op-ed article in state-run Global Times said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Picking one side or camp against the other is not the way India will rise. New Delhi is looking into a multi-faceted diplomacy. The well-performing Indian economy will give incentives to the country to be more confident with multilateralism and to seek balanced international relations.
ALSO READ Modi in US: India-United States announce joint clean energy finance, pledge to ratify Paris deal”Although rivalling China in many aspects, India knows its great vision cannot be realised by bashing or containing China. Instead, they should expand cooperation, explore the potentials and build mutual trust for their own good. China is more of a help than a competitor for India. This will eventually constitute India’s fundamental understanding of China,” it said referring to Modi’s current visit to the US.With Modi’s visit, New Delhi hopes there will be breakthroughs in many aspects, especially business and trade, security cooperation and nuclear issues, the article titled ‘India’s vision cannot be realised by containing China’ said.
ALSO READ Modi in US: ‘President Obama’s ‘robust support’ shows India ready for NSG membership'”The transformation of the geopolitical landscape is the major driver drawing the US and India much closer.Washington’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific makes the US realise India’s strategic significance, economic potential and ideological commonality,” it said.
ALSO READ In PM Modi, Obama has found partner to boost Indo-US ties: White House”India hopes that by consolidating its relationship with the US, it could gain leverage in development and forge an international status that is worthy of its potential. Modi has riveted his interactions with the US on this simple outlook to make India a veritable powerhouse. He was eager to boost a broader and better economic relationship with the US.”He urged the signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement, a landmark deal promoting logistics and defence cooperation with the US and he also expects an endorsement from the US to help India become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the last step to solidify India’s status as a nuclear powerhouse,” the article said.As for Washington, it is always hoping that India could serve as its right hand to counterbalance China’s rise. But so far, Washington’s calculations donot work well. Turning down Washington’s invitation to join a patrol in the South China Sea, New Delhi has no intention to cast away its founding principles: independence and non-alignment, it said.”In the process of fulfilling its ambition to be a major power, India has always employed independent and pragmatic approaches. A balance between other major powers will be its primary and optimal choice,” the article added.

US backs India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group’s membership

Backing India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the US has said by becoming the member of the elite grouping the country would be in a stronger position to be a “good citizen” on proliferation- related issues.”Having gone down the path of the civil nuclear agreement with India, and having invested a significant amount of time in building up our cooperation with India as it relates to nuclear security,” Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes told a Washington audience.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rhodes remarks on India came in response to a question about why some countries like China are opposing India’s membership in the 48-member NSG.”..I think the bottom line for us is that we believe that through engagement with India and through engagement with groups like the NSG, we are in a better position to support India as a good citizen on these issues,” Rhodes said.He said the US believed that engaging India and trying to bring it into international processes will be more effective in promoting the country’s security protocols.”And frankly, it takes place against continued conversations that we have with India about their approach to nuclear weapons; and of course, the support that we’ve always expressed for diplomatic efforts between India and Pakistan,” Rhodes said in response to a question at an event organised by the Arms Control Association.Based in Washington, Arms Control Association is a think-tank that had opposed India-US civil nuclear deal and is now opposing India’s membership to the NSG.Rhodes remarks on India came in response to a question on India about why some countries are opposing India’s membership to NSG.”So, I think the bottom line for us is that we believe that through engagement with India and through engagement with groups like the NSG, we are in a better position to support India as a good citizen on these issues going forward,” Rhodes said.”Of course, we’ll take seriously the concerns of other nations, but again for us I think this is part of a broader context where we’ve decided to take this approach with India.And we’ve seen it bear some fruit, particularly on issues related to nuclear security,” he said.”So again, we understand the concerns, but in many ways we’re dealing with a challenge that was fairly far advanced by the time we took office. And we decided to sustain the previous administration’s decision to pursue that civil nuclear cooperation broadly,” he said.”Then what we’ve tried to do is nest it in these international bodies and protocols so that, again, India is in a stronger position to be a good citizen on proliferation- related issues,” Rhodes said.

dna Morning Must Reads: Hillary close to clinch Democratic nomination; Vijender Singh’s Rio dream; PM Modi in US; and more

1. NSG: Swiss says a big Yes, but China wall aheadEven as Prime Minister Narendra Modi scored a diplomatic victory on Monday, by managing to win the crucial support of Switzerland for India’s entry into the elite 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Chinese wall still stands in India’s way in clinching NSG membership. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. US elections 2016: Hillary Clinton clinches Democratic presidential nomination, says reportAccording to report, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become presumptive Democratic nominee. Read more here3. US returns 200 cultural artifacts worth US $100 million to IndiaFrom a bronze Ganesh to a Jain figure of Bahubali were returned to India at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Read more here4. Vijender Singh dreams Rio, promoter says noVijender Singh is facing a big dilemma. On the one hand, he has a booming professional boxing career ahead of him but on the other, he may have to forget about representing his country again in the Olympics. Read more here5. I love proving people wrong: Tiger ShroffTiger Shroff talks about hits under his belt and about being the youngest actor to have a franchise to his name. Read more here

NSG membership: China rebuts India’s stand on France

China on Monday rebutted India’s assertion that France was included in the Nuclear Suppliers Group without signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty, saying France was a founder member of the elite group and so the issue of accepting its membership does not arise.Ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit, China also called for “in-depth” talks to build consensus over India’s admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), days after Pakistan staked claim to join the 48-member grouping with purported backing from Beijing.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying sounded firm about China’s stance that all new members that join the NSG must sign Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Hua rebutted India’s assertion that France was included in the elite group without signing the NPT.”When France joined the NSG it was not a party to the NPT: France was the founder member of the NSG so the issue of acceptance to the NSG does not exist”, Hua said responding to Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup’s comment last week.”The NSG is an ad hoc export control regime and France, which was not an NPT member for some time, was a member of the NSG since it respected NSG’s objectives,” Swarup had said on May 20, rejecting China’s oft-repeated assertion that India should sign the NPT to join the NSG.”The NSG is an important component of the non- proliferation regime is founded on the NPT. This is a long term consensus of the international community which was reaffirmed last year by the NPT review convention,” Hua said.That is why the NSG has been taking NPT signatory status must status for new members, Hua said. The issue was expected to figure in the talks during President Mukherjee’s visit to China from tomorrow. Mukherjee would arrive in Chinese city of Guangzhou and later arrive here on May 25 during which he is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese leaders including his counterpart Xi Jinping.

Defence capabilities of India, US, Russia driving China’s nuclear force modernisation, says Pentagon

The defence capabilities possessed by the US, Russia and India are among the main factors driving China to modernise its nuclear force and bolster its strategic strike capabilities, the Pentagon has said.In a report to Congress detailing China’s nuclear power, Pentagon yesterday said the country was deploying new command, control and communications capabilities to its nuclear forces to improve control of multiple units in the field.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China, it said, insists that the new generation of mobile missiles, with warheads consisting of multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) and penetration aids, are intended to ensure the viability of its strategic deterrent in the face of continued advances in the US and, to a lesser extent, Russian strategic ISR (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), precision strike, and missile defence capabilities.
ALSO READ China has increased defence capabilities, deployed more troops near Indian border, says Pentagon”Similarly, India’s nuclear force is additional driver behind China’s nuclear force modernisation,” the Pentagon said in its report.Through the use of improved communication links, ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) units now have better access to battlefield information and uninterrupted communications connecting all command echelons, the report said.
ALSO READ Despite China-Pak opposition, US says India ready for Nuclear Suppliers GroupAccording to the Pentagon, China is working on a range of technologies to attempt to counter the US and other countries’ ballistic missile defence systems, including manoeuvrable re-entry vehicles (MaRVs), MIRVs, decoys, chaff, jamming, and thermal shielding.China has acknowledged that it tested a hypersonic glide vehicle in 2014. The country’s official media also cited numerous PLASAF (Peoples Liberation Army Second Artillery Force) training exercises featuring manoeuvre, camouflage, and launch operations under simulated combat conditions, which are intended to increase survivability, it said.
ALSO READ China has reclaimed 3,200 acres in South China Sea: ReportTogether with the increased mobility and survivability of the new generation of missiles, these technologies and training enhancements strengthen China’s nuclear force and bolster its strategic strike capabilities.China’s nuclear arsenal currently consists of approximately 75-100 ICBMs, including the silo-based CSS-4 Mod 2 (DF-5A) and Mod 3(DF-5B), the solid-fueled, road-mobile CSS-10 Mod 1 and Mod 2 (DF-31 and DF-31A), and the more-limited-range CSS-3 (DF-4).This force is complemented by road-mobile, solid-fueled CSS-5 Mod 6 (DF-21) MRBM for regional deterrence missions.Pentagon said China’s nuclear weapons policy prioritises maintaining a nuclear force able to survive an attack and to respond with sufficient strength to inflict unacceptable damage on an enemy.”Further increases in the number of mobile ICBMs and the beginning of SSBN deterrence patrols will force the PLA to implement more sophisticated C2 systems and processes that safeguard the integrity of nuclear release authority for a larger, more dispersed force,” it said.The Pentagon said China continues to produce the JIN-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), with four commissioned and another under construction.The JIN will eventually carry the CSS-NX-14 (JL-2) SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) with an estimated range of 7,200 km. Together these will give the PLAN its first credible long-range sea based nuclear capability. JIN SSBNs based at Hainan Island in the South China Sea would then be able to conduct nuclear deterrence patrols, it said.

China links India’s NSG bid with Pakistan, other non-NPT states

China on Thursday said it will not back India’s bid alone to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group as “other states” are also aspiring to join the elite 48-member club and asserted that any decision on the inclusion of new members will be based on “consensus”.”Besides India, there are other non-NPT states who have expressed similar aspirations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told PTI, clubbing India along with Pakistan and other states who have not signed the Nuclear Non- proliferation Treaty (NPT).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was responding to a query on Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz’s recent comments in the Senate that China was helping Pakistan to stall India’s bid to get Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership.”This raises a question to the international community, that is whether or not non-NPT states can join the NSG,” Hong said. India, Pakistan, Israel and South Sudan are among the four UN member states which have not signed the NPT, the international pact aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.”However, a decision on the inclusion of non-NPT states shall be made based on consensus of all NSG members after thorough discussions in accordance with relevant rules. China’s position applies to all non-NPT states instead of targeting any specific country,” Hong said.Describing the NSG as a crucial component of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, Hong said “it is the long-standing consensus of the international community that the NPT is the cornerstone of the regime”.As US and other influential member states in the NSG have stepped up efforts to admit India into the body, China has called for “through discussions” among the NSG members about entry of non-NPT states amid assertions by Pakistan officials that Beijing has assured to push for Islamabad’s membership.NSG chairman Rafael Grossi had visited India in November last year and held talks with top Indian leaders about New Delhi’s admission to the group. Observers say that unlike 2008 when the NSG has granted a waiver to India during which China was reported to have expressed reservations but not stalled New Delhi’s special exemption, this time Beijing reportedly decided to push for Islamabad’s membership, linking it with India.India’s case is being pressed by the US and other influential countries based on the India’s record in non-proliferation and the India-US civil nuclear accord.

China helped Pak to block India’s NSG membership bid, says Sartaj Aziz

Pakistan along with its “all-weather” ally China has successfully blocked India’s bid to become a member of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said.India has been seeking membership to the 48-member nuclear club, whose members can trade in and export nuclear technology. NSG is a powerful multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation. Pakistan with the cooperation of China had successfully blocked India’s bid to seek membership of the NSG, Aziz told the Senate yesterday. While countries like the US have backed India’s membership in the NSG, China has only offered conditional support to New Delhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China’s Foreign Ministry had called for “prudence and caution” over expanding the NSG. Asked whether China wants to back any other country’s entry into NSG, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had said, “as for the expansion of the group, the members should make the decision on consensus after thorough discussions. India’s inclusion into this group is an internal matter of the group. It needs prudence and caution and thorough discussions among all members.””We support such discussion and we also support India’s inclusion into this group if it meets all the requirements,” she had said in January last year. In November, media reports said China had assured Islamabad that if India is granted membership of the NSG, China would ensure that Pakistan also joined the group.Pakistan has been saying that if it is deprived of NSG membership while India is accommodated, it would be taken as discrimination and lead to an imbalance in the region. Chinese and Pakistani leaders have views their relationship as “all-weather”.

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