China led a group of 10 other countries to scuttle India’s NSG aspirations at the annual plenary of the 48-nation bloc in the South Korean capital on Friday .
China said that India cannot be considered because it has not signed the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was backed by nearly 10 other countries.
Although India had the strong backing of the US, the UK, France and a majority of countries in the nuclear trading group.
.Thus the plenary meeting of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) ended with no decision on India’s membership bid as divisions persisted over admitting non-NPT member.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup without naming Beijing said “procedural hurdles persistently raised by one country” stalled India’s bid even as most others in the grouping supported New Delhi.
“An overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership and appraised India’s application positively. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward,” Swarup said.
But a public statement after the NSG’s 26th plenary in Seoul didn’t mention about India or any other country, including Pakistan, which had applied for membership – indicating that the grouping could not arrive at a consensus on allowing membership to the countries that have not signed the crucial Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The statement said the meeting discussed the “issue of ‘technical, legal and political aspects of the participation of non-NPT states in the NSG’ and decided to continue its discussion” of not allowing them in.
“Participating governments reiterated their firm support for the full, complete and effective implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime (NSG).”
India, strongly backed by the US, applied for NSG membership on May 12 this year. Pakistan immediately followed with its own application a week later after China backed it.
Signing the NPT is one of the main requirements to be part of the elite club of nations that regulate global nuclear trade and technology. However, both India and Pakistan are non-signatories to the NPT.
India was seeking concessions from the grouping on the grounds of its clean non-proliferation record. But China virtually stonewalled India’s chances by seeking the same concession for Pakistan, that has an alleged bad track record on non-proliferation as it is said to have sold atomic weapons technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.
“It has been suggested that India’s participation in the NSG requires it to join the NPT,” Swarup said, adding “our stand on the NPT is well known”.