Since the early 1970s, many ‘technology denial and control’ cartels including Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) were introduced to control nuclear weapons technology. The irony lies in the fact that despite India’s blatant refusal to take major non-proliferation obligations like the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the US and UK are facilitating India’ entry into NSG. NSG was created in 1975 as a consequence of India’s proliferation and testing of a nuclear weapon in 1974. It was only after India’s 1974 test that Pakistan was forced to pursue a nuclear weapons program for its legitimate security concerns.

Though Pakistan did not take the NPT-obligation due to its discriminatory nature, it has championed non-proliferation cause. Pakistan supported the initial drafts of the NPT, CTBT and proposed a Strategic Restraint Regime in South Asia. It is an active participant of almost all non-proliferation initiatives and observes UNSC resolution 1540 in letter and in spirit. Yet, Islamabad remains in the spotlight for its so-called proliferation history related to AQ Khan network. The network operated covertly outside the government control and all appropriate measures were taken in 2004 against it and to avoid proliferation in the future.

It is ironical to note that the state-to-state proliferation continues in clear violation of global non-proliferation norms and state export control laws. In 2006, the U.S. chaperoned 46 members of the NSG to grant a waiver to India for trade in nuclear materials. If that be the criterion, Pakistan is also eligible to participate in the NSG and it has made a strong pitch. Unfortunately, for political and geo-economic reasons, Islamabad has not received same attention.

This NSG waiver actually is a major violation of Article IV and VI of NPT which states that the principle of non-discrimination should be applied to all states and to pursue negotiations towards general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. The rationale for the formation of NSG will lose its credence if only one state is granted membership and there is no uniformity in criteria. As a result, the apartheid in the non-proliferation regime will also be vindicated. The US-India nuclear deal, which grants India special rights and privileges that many states of good standing under NPT do not enjoy, has irked many members of NPT, who find such exceptions an infringement of their rights. .

There is a need to have equal treatment in South Asia, especially where Pakistan is concerned. Granting NSG membership to India will create a new form of discrimination that will effectively kill the spirit of non-proliferation.

TANZEELA DUBEREINER,

Germany, August 31.