BY C. Raja Mohan
Posted: Sat Jun 26 2010, Indian express
In a week of energetic nuclear diplomacy, the government has forestalled a potentially negative change in global rules on nuclear technology transfer to India, got Japan’s assent to begin a dialogue on bilateral nuclear cooperation and is all set to sign a nuclear deal with Canada.
Although China might yet get away with its sale of two new nuclear reactors to Pakistan, the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group today underlined the importance of openness in Beijing’s nuclear negotiations with Islamabad. In an oblique reference to the discussions on the proposed Sino-Pak nuclear deal, the full details of which are yet to emerge, the NSG in a statement issued after two days of deliberations in Christchurch, New Zealand underlined “the value of ongoing consultation and transparency”.
If India’s diplomacy with the 46-nation NSG was a preventive one, it took a lot of pro-active engagement in getting Japan to start the nuclear negotiations and Canada to conclude them. Tokyo and Ottawa are near fanatical in their commitment to the non-proliferation regime.Earlier this week, India was surprised by reports that the NSG was closing ranks to approve new rules that would restrict the transfer of enriched uranium and reprocessing technologies to India.
Acting swiftly, the Foreign Office formally cautioned the United States, France, Russia, Britain and Germany against any retrospective modification of the NSG guidelines against India.
In separate demarches issued to the envoys of major powers and the NSG host New Zealand here this week, the Foreign Office made it clear that any diminution of the “clean waiver” to the guidelines of the NSG that India had negotiated so carefully in September 2008 would be unacceptable.
If new criteria such as membership of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty were to be approved for future transfers of enrichment and reprocessing technologies, India insisted that its own waiver should be excluded from those.
Whether the Indian logic was accepted in toto or not, the NSG today did hold back from announcing a change in the terms of transfer for enrichment and reprocessing technologies. In its statement issued today, the NSG pointed to postponement of the decision in stating that members had “agreed to continue considering ways to further strengthen guidelines dealing with the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies”.
More welcome in Delhi today was news from Tokyo, where the Japanese foreign minister Katsuya Okada announced the decision to start negotiating an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation with India.
During the last year, France and the United States, whose reactor vendors have collaborations with Japanese companies, have been pressing Tokyo to clear the legal path for their nuclear cooperation with India.
“There are projects that suppliers of other countries are involved in (in India) that require Japanese technologies and components. That is a point of consideration,” Okada told a news conference.
That there is powerful opposition in Tokyo to nuclear cooperation with Delhi was reflected in an editorial of the ‘Asahi Shimbun’ newspaper on Thursday which called it “inappropriate” for Japan to embark on nuclear cooperation with India, “a nation that has armed itself with nuclear weapons and has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)”.
Delhi appreciates that in courting a major controversy at home, the new Japanese government led by Naoto Kan has unveiled a positive gesture towards India. The two sides are wasting no time and have decided to hold the first round of nuclear negotiations next Monday.
As one set of important nuclear negotiations begin in Tokyo, another will be brought to successful closure in Toronto this weekend when India and Canada sign an agreement for bilateral nuclear cooperation.
Like Japan, Canada is a vocal champion of nuclear non proliferation, and has nursed for decades a deep bitterness about India’s first nuclear test in 1974. As one of India’s earliest partners in nuclear energy, Canada felt betrayed at India’s use of plutonium from a research reactor that Ottawa helped build.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will have the pleasure of bringing that unpleasant chapter in India’s nuclear history to a close.
TORONTO: India not only wants the guidelines of the 46-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to be transparent while giving technology to non-members like Pakistan but also hopes its waiver to New Delhi in 2008 remains intact.
"We hope there is transparency and international safeguards are observed when NSG decides on technology for non-members," a top Indian official said here Saturday when asked about New Delhi's position on the prospect of Pakistan getting two more nuclear reactors from Pakistan.
Reacting to the statement issued at he the conclusion of the five-day NSG meeting at Christchurch in New Zealand Friday, the official also said it was pleasant to note that the 46-member group was keen on working with India.
Yet, on the issue of the group considering ways to further strengthen the rules and guidelines for transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies, India hopes its existing deal stands unaltered, the official said.
The official also reacted to China's recent confirmation that it has signed a pact with Pakistan to finance the construction of two more nuclear reactors to be built by China National Nuclear Corp at the Chashma site in Pakistan.
Bejing had earlier built two reactors for Pakistan there before joining the NSG in 2004. But NSG forbids its members from transferring nuclear material to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
India is the only exception because of its flawless non-proliferation record.
Chashma-I went critical in 2000 and Chashma-II is due to begin operations in 2011. China claims the proposal for two more reactors flow from the earlier pact before it joined the NSG and hence does not need its permission.
Clarifying that India is not against Pakistan developing its energy sector and that the neighbouring country needed electricity urgently, the official, who is well versed with India's strategic issues, said the only issue was transparency.
"Our deal with the NSG is transparent and in the public domain. And that how it should be," the official said, adding: "They have not taken any decision yet on non-members. It is still under consideration."
WASHINGTON: The US has said it would vote against an exemption for China to sell two civil nuclear reactors to Pakistan at the Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting, in a new move to step up pressure to get the controversial deal annulled.
Making it clear that the US would oppose the recent decision of China to sell two nuclear reactors to Pakistan, a top Obama administration official told lawmakers that Washington would vote against the Sino-Pak deal when it comes before the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
This is for the first time that such a clear statement has emerged from the Obama Administration, days after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Pakistan that US would work with it on civil nuclear energy, during her just concluded Islamabad visit.
"Yes sir, by definition, we do not support any activity that goes against the guidelines," said Vann H Van Diepen, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non Proliferation, in response to a question from Congressman Ed Royce, at a Congressional hearing convened by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Royce, who is co-chair of House India Caucus, had questions about the administration's stand on the Sino-Pak nuclear deal.
The State Department official said the US would vote against any exemption for China to sell two civil nuclear reactors to Pakistan. The NSG runs by consensus, but its decisions have no legal binding on its members.
When the issue came up before the NSG at its meeting last month in New Zealand, the US had sought more information from Beijing on this issue.
"Based on the facts we are aware of, it would occur to us that this sale would not be allowed to occur without an exemption of the NSG," Diepen said.
Early this week, Clinton had told a group of Pakistani journalists that the US would work with Pakistan on civil nuclear energy.
"In our dialogue with the Pakistani Government, we have clearly said we will work with them on civil nuclear energy," Clinton told a group of Pakistani journalists in Islamabad on July 19.
Pakistan has been demanding a civilian nuclear deal with the US on the lines of that with India.
China has already promised it two additional nuclear reactors, on which the US has sought additional clarifications at the recently held meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
ISLAMABAD: The United States intense lobbying to take India into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) spells a doomsday scenario for Pakistan as it will strongly hit its trade and economic ties worldwide.
“Given the legacy of mistrust with Pakistan and knowing the Indian mindset, India will try and block any future moves for Pakistan to become a member of the NSG. In trade Pakistan stands a chance to be completely isolated as any dual use component will not be exported to Pakistan. Denials will become more frequent even affecting civilian exports. Even Pakistan’s energy supplies will be affected,” is an expert opinion.
There are plenty of examples about discriminating against Pakistan even in the past. One example was import of equipment from a European country that had to be returned because of malfunction. But shockingly, the country refused to re-export it, saying it hit its export regime. It took months for Pakistan to get it back.
Updating the media on the kind of pressure that Pakistan faces on its nuclear policies, the independent think tank, the Strategic Technology Resources (STR) asked Pakistan’s media to keep itself up-to-date with the continuing Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to understand better Pakistan’s policies and why it maintains certain stands.
STR CEO Dr Shireen Mazari says Pakistan is conducting cold tests, which are allowed by CTBT to help it improve its delivery system. She says India will be carrying out another nuclear test because it is necessitated by its ongoing nuclear doctrine.
Rao to pitch for India''s full NSG membership during US visit
New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) India will make a strong pitch for securing a full membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) during the visit of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to the US, which has already pledged its support for New Delhi. Rao, who is leaving tonight, intends to discuss with the US how to take forward the process of securing the full membership of NSG, officials said here. During his visit to India last November, US President Barack Obama had committed support for India's full membership in NSG and other multilateral export control regimes. The US move finally opened a door for the country to transcend the legal confines of a treaty that has defined global attitudes towards nuclear weapons for over four decades -- the NPT. India has termed the US step to remove ISRO and DRDO from the entities list last month as "important" with the officials maintaining that Washington was looking at removing hurdles in high-tech trade with the country as per its commitment. Continuing its cooperation in the field, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke recently visited the country and was accompanied by delegates from 24 companies, promoting technologies and services related to civil nuclear energy, civil aviation, defence, homeland security and communications. "We have made important progress this week, not just to lay the groundwork for more sales of US goods in India, but to take another real step towards strengthening the bonds between the governments, the businesses and the people of India and the US," Locke had said yesterday in Mumbai. Locke, who was here on a high-technology trade mission, announced during President Obama's trip, visited three cities -- New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. During her stay, the Foreign Secretary will also speak tomorrow at the New School in New York on India-China.
I wait to see Pakistan strongly demanding NSG membsership/waiver & consequent inspection led by Prime NSG/IAEA members exposing Pak's horrifying proliferation record including current hostile situation.
That should seal Pakistan's nuclear fate. (PRC will escape even being in loop :| )
Simple, Money talks and Times have changed -keep uncle SAM in our side and they they know how to tweak laws to help our causes and isolate the adversaries .It was the same plan they used against us in cold war era to help their allies.
actually all the nuclear commerce we started will be at stake if we conduct a nuclear test at this point we need to hold for at least a decade or 2 untill we have our thorium reactors full fledged working .