NSG’s Consultative Group And Need For Evolving New Process – OpEd


India’s application could not acknowledge a confirmatory response from a few members of the Group, yet it leaves the impression that New Delhi is determined for the full membership of NSG. Like the Seoul plenary meeting of June 23-24, 2016 failed to reach a consensus in 48 members of NSG cartel, the recent consultative group’s meeting also could not reach to any consensus with regards to India’s bit for NSG.

It is evident that both India and Pakistan are consistently encountering tough resistance in getting the membership of NSG in the near future. Many members of the Group seem determined to thwart non-NPT members attempt to join the Group without a criteria-based approach. Nevertheless, New Delhi has robustly been lobbying with the intense support of Washington and its like-minded countries since 2010 to get a ‘special treatment’ by the NSG members. Simultaneously, Islamabad is equally determined to join the NSG.

Even though Pakistan wishes to be included in the NSG cartel on the basis of merit, it also wants to draw attention to the issue of discrimination in the group’s membership.

India is being treated on favorable terms, with laws amended and waivers granted to accommodate it. This despite the fact that India’s diversion of nuclear material and equipment for the so-called peaceful explosion of 1974 was the prime reason behind the creation of the NSG. It was created to prevent the diversion of nuclear material from civilian trade to military purposes, with seven suppliers of advanced nuclear technology, i.e. United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan, West Germany, and Soviet Union, getting together to form a cartel to control nuclear technology supplied for peaceful uses. India violated its obligations with Canada, diverting plutonium from the Canadian-Indian reactor that was being run by U.S. heavy-water, which was provided purely for peaceful purposes.

In view of the strong opposition from several countries, it is likely that both India and Pakistan may not be accepted into the NSG in the immediate future. However, if the United States once again coerces the NSG participating governments, as it did in 2008, Pakistan would not have any choice but to review its engagement with the international nonproliferation regime, which is increasingly becoming a tool to serve only the interests of major powers.

The other option for Pakistan could be to start a diplomatic campaign to convince the NSG members of its needs and capabilities, and simultaneously highlight India’s non-adherence of the promises made as part of the nuclear deal with the United States; Pakistan should continue nuclear cooperation with China, while also focusing on economic development to attract other nuclear vendors to explore commercial benefits in the country.

Pakistan has two time-slots that should be capitalized. First is the time slot till the next plenary meeting of NSG; this time should be capitalized in promoting Pakistan’s perspective regarding NSG membership through proactive diplomatic and political representation across the 48 NSG nations. The second window of opportunity comes in the backdrop of slow-pace developments in Indo-US nuclear cooperation, Pakistan has sufficient time to strengthen its politico-economic engagement with the rest of the world in general and with China in particular till the India-US nuclear deal gets materialized.

However, Pakistan needs to adopt a ‘Proactive Diplomacy’ rather than a ‘Reactive Diplomacy’. after the current NSG’s consultative Group meeting it is evident that India is not going to make in it even at this time. Because on countries stances, most of the country stances are same, yes Russia will review its stance again. China is standing on the same note. In addition to, 17 countries said further discussions are required on the subject whereas 12 called for immediate membership to India but no consensus yet. But obviously there should be criteria based approach for non-NPT members so that India and Pakistan get same treatment from the international community.

Beenish Altaf

Beenish Altaf works for the Strategic Vision Institute, Islamabad and be reached at [email protected]. Ms. Beenish Altaf holds masters degree in Defence and Diplomatic Studies from Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

6 thoughts on “NSG’s Consultative Group And Need For Evolving New Process – OpEd

  • November 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Pakistan has a world acknowledged proliferation record and as a consequence,it is not het ready for membership

  • November 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    @Iqbal is a world acknowledged Indian and as a consequence he has changed his name and commented immaturely.

  • November 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    The US analysts during the years 2003 to 2009 argued that India got the favor of nuclear deal by the US on condition to counter China or otherwise it would have not got the nuclear deal due to poor nuclear security, safety and proliferation record.

  • November 24, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Meanwhile, one can be sure that other nations are watching and making their own assessments on the benefits that possession of nuclear weapons offer for blackmail and hard-core political bargaining. The future course of the non-proliferation regime lies in its own decisions.

  • November 24, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    As far as Pakistan’s endeavour for attaining the NSG membership is concerned, it woke up from its slumber rather late in the day and submitted its membership application on May 19, a week after India. China is being pragmatic in its approach. It is not resisting the Indian application out of spite, but is arguing that it would enhance a nuclear competition in South Asia by isolating Pakistan. China wants the group to admit Pakistan as well, pointing out that both India and Pakistan possessed nuclear weapons and had not signed the NPT.

  • November 25, 2016 at 5:41 am

    It is true that an India-specific waiver from NSG then and unconditional support for India to become a member of NSG now is a discriminatory development against Pakistan. However, this narrative implies that an equal treatment of India and Pakistan will diminish the effects of double standards that are inherent to both the NPT and the encompassing international system.Pakistan’s narrative vis-à-vis the NSG waiver given to India has been that it will create strategic imbalance in South Asia and that Pakistan’s nuclear program is being discriminated against.
    The only positive at the moment about the feverish NSG-related discussions is the emphasis of the nonproliferation lobby in the West on adopting a criteria-based approach for any future memberships in the NSG.


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