India’s bid to enter an elite atomic trading club hit a brick block as six nations reportedly opposed its inclusion, citing the fact that New Delhi has yet to commit to the non-proliferation regime.
Meeting behind closed doors in Seoul for a specially convened session, representatives of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group deliberated India’s bid to become the 49th member.
Only a unanimous vote will see New Delhi’s bid sail through.
Six countries, including China, Brazil, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Turkey opposed the bid citing the fact that India has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), The Indian Express reported.
Being an NPT signatory is a pre-requisite to become a member of the NSG.
Brazil, a member of the four-nation bloc BRICs (Brazil-Russia-India-China), opposed India’s membership stressing a non-discriminatory criteria for the membership process, India Today reported.
China stonewalled India’s bid reiterating that all “parties are yet to see eye-to-eye on this issue”. Beijing has also made a case for Pakistan’s inclusion in the group if the NSG decides to grant an exception to India for its non-NPT status.
This came even as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent on Thursday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit with the express objective of convincing him on India’s NSG bid.
”Make a fair and objective assessment of India’s bid for membership to the NSG on its own merit,” Modi urged Xi during their meeting. “Join the emerging consensus.”
The consensus issue, though, has featured prominently among the 48-member bloc. After the 26th plenary meeting of the NSG earlier in the day, Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se said, “We NSG members also need to strive to forge a consensus on the membership issue, considering our needs to further strengthen this group.”
Hussain meets Jinping
Pakistan once again raised the matter of its bid for the NSG with China as President Mamnoon Hussain met with his Chinese counterpart in Tashkent.
“The meeting discussed issues of bilateral interest including cooperation in economic and defence sectors, with specific focus on Pakistan’s inclusion in NSG,” Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry told APP about the meeting.
The two leaders held a delegation-level meeting at Kuksaroy – the State guest house, in Tashkent on the sidelines of the SCO summit. President Hussain was accompanied by Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Chaudhry.
“The President emphasised that Pakistan and India should be included in NSG on same time similar to their inclusion in SCO,” Chaudhry said. He added that Hussain thanked Xi for China’s unequivocal support for Pakistan’s inclusion in the NSG and its policy of non-discrimination.
Xi assured Hussain that China will adopt criteria-based approach on the issue of NSG, which will support Pakistan’s case, Chaudhry said.
“This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations. Our two sides should take this opportunity to keep the momentum of high-level contacts and translate our friendship into greater driving forces for practical cooperation,” Xi said.
Xi further proposed that the two countries focus on the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), speed up the implementation of projects on transportation infrastructure and energy, and steadily carry out the CPEC-supporting projects concerning people’s livelihood.