• Draft proposal boosts India’s chances for entry into NSG

    A draft proposal for accepting new members into the Nuclear Suppliers Group may have boosted India’s chances while requiring Pakistan to take additional steps to engage in civil nuclear trade with the 48 member states.

    As per the draft, circulated by India’s point person, former NSG chairman Rafael Mariano Grossi, at the group’s meeting in Vienna last month, India’s commitments on nonproliferation to the NSG in 2008 that won it an exemption for civil nuclear trade will suffice for its entry into the group, people familiar with the matter said.

    India got an unconditional waiver from SG in 2008. India is seeking membership of the NSG on the grounds that it is already doing business with the members of the group and that it has an impeccable nonproliferation record. India had applied for NSG membership earlier this year, with Pakistan following soon thereafter.

    NSG, a nuclear technology control organisation formed in 1975 in response to India’s maiden nuclear tests, requires countries to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty before applying for membership of the group. However, India remains one of only three countries, along with Israel and Pakistan, not to have signed the NPT.

    Under the formula described in Grossi’s note, India could theoretically claim that it has already undertaken all of the steps necessary for membership, which could then lead to a decision on membership for India, said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified.

    At the meeting in Vienna, NSG discussed nine general commitments that India and other countries that have not signed the NPT would need to make in order to receive the fullest atomic trading privileges, according to Grossi’s draft. Grossi was acting on behalf of the current NSG chairman, Song Young-wan of South Korea.

    Grossi, an expert on nuclear issues, circulated a “revised version of a draft ‘Exchange of Notes’ for non-NPT applicants” among the NSG members. The draft proposes “one non-NPT member state should reach an understanding not to block consensus on membership for another non-NPT member state”, the person said Paul Thompson Jersey

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