Two days after External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar reiterated that India is looking forward to joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the diplomatic team consisting of senior foreign policy officials has started gearing up to give a fresh impetus to a “comprehensive campaign” to achieve this goal. While the diplomats will be reaching out to the various quarters in the global community to garner support, India’s key focus will mainly be on removing the China bottleneck. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen that diplomatic efforts should be intensified without any more delay in the direction of getting a seat in NSG. A high-level meeting at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been held to discuss the strategy in this regard,” top diplomatic sources told The Daily Guardian Review.
Sources said that the EAM, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra and senior officials involved in nuclear diplomacy have held discussions on this agenda. “Indian am
bassadors and high commissioners have been asked to keep interacting with their counterparts in different countries as part of this campaign,” sources added.
Addressing foreign diplomats two days ago, Jaishankar had dropped ample hints about India’s plan to give the NSG entry agenda a big push. During an event hosted by the MEA to mark eight years of the Narendra Modi government in New Delhi, Jaishankar had reiterated that India is looking forward to joining the NSG, “overcoming the political impediments that are against global interest”. He was referring to political impediments being created by countries such as China.
“The strategy that India is going to adopt is that apart from creating pressure on China directly, India will seek cooperation of P5 nations (big five) to ensure that Beijing’s bid to scuttle New Delhi’s NSG move is thwarted,” sources said. In fact, the US, France, the UK, Germany, etc. are among several nations which have backed India’s bid to join the elite grouping of 48 countries that deal with the trade in nuclear technology and fissile materials. PM Modi used every forum including the Quad summits to pitch for India’s entry into this club. At bilateral meetings with the US President and other leaders, PM Modi always made it a point to discuss India’s NSG ambition. US President Joe Biden always reaffirmed America’s support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. “All the powerful nations should build pressure on China to change its stand on India’s entry into the NSG,” officials say.
China blocks India’s path to the NSG primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). India’s argument is that France also joined the elite NSG club without signing the NPT. Another strong argument that India puts forward is that it has complied with the considerations required for NSG membership. Even other nations have called for India’s inclusion based on New Delhi’s non-proliferation track record and the US-India civil nuclear non-proliferation accord. Sources said, “These are some of the arguments and points that the Indian diplomats will go ahead with seeking global support for India’s NSG entry.”