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New draft proposal paves way for India into the Nuclear Suppliers Group entry

According to a US-based arms control organisation, a draft proposal for accepting new members into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) paves way for India’s entry, but leaves out Pakistan.

Last week, the US media reported that former NSG chairman Rafael Mariano Grossi has prepared a two-page document, explaining how a non-NPT state, like India and Pakistan, could join the group.

The document prepared by Grossi, acting on behalf of the current chairman Song Young-wan of South Korea, enjoys a semi-official status, reports the Dawn.

Grossi’s draft note proposes that “one non-NPT member state should reach an understanding not to block consensus on membership for another non-NPT member state”.

Arms Control Association (ACA) executive director, Daryl Kimball, said Pakistan still has grounds to object to the formula outlined by Grossi.

He explains the document will require Pakistan to meet the same criteria for membership as India, adding Islamabad will have to win a separate NSG exemption from the full-scope safeguards requirement to engage in civil nuclear trade with the NSG states.

Present NSG membership rules require a state to sign the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) before joining the exclusive club.

India remains one of only three countries, with Israel and Pakistan, to have never signed the NPT.

Earlier this year, India formally applied for membership and was followed by Pakistan. The United States and a host of other western nations back India’s application, but China and some others are blocking New Delhi’s membership, which requires a consensus of all members.

The proposal requires a non-NPT state to declare that it has brought into force a clear and strict separation of current and future civilian nuclear facilities from non-civilian nuclear facilities and is willing to apply this principle to future facilities as well.

The new member also needs to assure NSG that it has provided and maintains a declaration to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that identifies all current and future civilian nuclear facilities.

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