The news of the United States still looking to push India’s membership into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) is not altogether surprising. This latest report is only proof that the Foreign Office was patting itself on the back much too soon, for a diplomatic effort that is not yet even close to fruition. With the US still in its corner, India will find support from other countries as well, and China still remains the only state standing in its way, and the only potential ally that Pakistan will have in this issue.

In a recent interview to Geo News, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale, termed America’s policy of supporting a specific state’s membership into NSG on a case-by-case issue. But he never identified what makes India’s case so different from ours. If anything, the biggest impediment to both India and Pakistan’s membership is not signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Yet somehow, the US chooses to look the other way when India is concerned. A more mutually beneficial trade relationship and India’s constantly deepening ties with America are obviously behind this, but the US is forgetting that this throws the NSG’s ‘uniform criteria-based approach’ out the window.

The US has made up its mind however, and Pakistan is beginning to realise that the only way out of this is to force its name out with India’s as well, and ensure that we also get a seat at the coveted table. The Pakistani diplomatic team in the US has rightly pointed out that this stalemate is here to stay for the next year or so, but only if we keep reminding the world that India does not warrant an automatic spot, and if it does, Pakistan must come with it. The US can back whoever if it wants, but it will have to answer the uncomfortable questions of this exclusionary policy sooner or later.