NSG membership won’t give India

NSG membership won’t give India tangible gains: Expert

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will not have any impact, positive or negative, on India’s civil nuclear programme, noted expert on nuclear technology G. Balachandran said on Friday.

At a roundtable discussion on ‘India and NSG Membership’ organised by the Indian Pugwash Society and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Balachandran said that the membership would be helpful in strengthening investment for the nuclear power sector but there will be no ‘tangible’ gain.

“The NSG membership will have no impact, whether positive or negative, on India’s civil nuclear programme’, given the fact that India has already been granted the waiver in 2008,” a statement from IDSA quoted Balachandran as saying.

“India’s desire to be a member of the NSG comes from its conviction that the NSG is a useful forum to advance global non-proliferation objectives, and further that India can contribute positively towards that end by being a NSG member”.

“Therefore, while India would certainly welcome the NSG membership, it would not stand to gain anything tangible in its civil nuclear programme,” he said.

Commenting on China’s resistance to India’s membership, Balachandran said China is fighting the battle for Pakistan.

“China is probably fighting Pakistan’s battle and looks to seek an assurance from India that if it became a member, it would not block Pakistan’s move to become a member in the future,” he said.

Reacting to a query about the possible outcome of the plenary meeting of the NSG later this month, Balachandran said it was possible that the decision on the applications of India and Pakistan are deferred till the inter-plenary meeting later this year, possibly after the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Plenary session.

“Or the membership may be offered to India and a decision on Pakistan’s application may be deferred to a later stage,” he added.

The plenary meeting of the NSG is expected to be held in Seoul, South Korea on June 24.

The NSG is a 48-nation club dedicated to curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that could foster nuclear weapons development.

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