The Irony of NSG canon

As the meeting concluded by 48 members of Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), procedural hurdles persistently stay there despite hectic lobbying efforts by Indian Government. This still made it clear that opposition exists within.  

Going backwards, NSG waiver in September 2008 lifted an over three decade embargo that was imposed after the nuclear hullabaloo created by India in 1974 tests. This blessing to India means that now it has the legal rights under the world nuclear regulatory regime, which was solely created after Indian tests, can now trade for nuclear fuel and technology.

United States (U.S.) has led this special pandora box be opened for India within the world nuclear regulatory regime which they claim is for civilian nuclear trade, trebly a false proposition.

Interestingly, it is a key motivation from Indian side to give rise to their hegemonic designs by seeking access to foreign nuclear technology in order to expand its strategic deterrent (nuclear weapons) to certain depths.

Most importantly, a key reason both countries have joined by making a unique entry is because the lifting of sanctions and trade prohibitions from U.S. will have an easy way of massive defence developments in advance armaments and military technologies. This basically predicts that the deal was primarily for cooperation and for lucrative business.

Last but not the least it will help US to be able to harness and use India to Washington’s predatory ambitions in the Middle East and Asia especially using India as an ally to contain China.

In the midst of this, India received the waiver in 2008 after tough negotiations by putting limits on certain things like separating its civilian and military nuclear facilities, placing their civilian production centers under IAEA, signing FMCT and adhering to IAEA’s additional protocol and refraining from the transfer and enrichment of uranium. But Alas! All broken promises.

But this all proved as a distant possibility, where India has one of the largest nuclear power programmes among developing nations. And has the largest production of fissile material for its weapons. For example, a new uranium enrichment facility is fueling concerns that India is building thermonuclear weapons.

David Kramer in his article titled, “Decline of US nuclear industry is accelerating” states that: “Over the past few years, US companies have closed or announced plans to close eight reactors with a combined capacity of 6300 MW. Fertel claimed that another 15 to 20 plants are at risk of closure over the next 5 to 10 years”.

This Indian long road to nuclear legitimacy has certainly fallen short of achievements. The nuclear waiver proved as a blow to non-proliferation allowing it to resume nuclear commerce. India must regretfully acknowledge that nuclear industry in U.S. is on the eclipse, so as a primitive, the nuclear corporations want to sell those same reactors to India that are too expensive to find buyers for in the U.S. As recently Modi splurge over Rs. 4,00,000 crore ($21 billion) on six AP1000 Westinghouse nuclear reactors. How’s that for a double whammy?

In addition, while giving this NSG waiver, 48-group member states clearly ignored the Resolution 1172 of UN Security Council which was passed in late 90’s following the nuclear tests by both Asian states (India and Pakistan) to immediately stop their production of nuclear weapons. This also calls both states to join NPT and CTBT but unfortunately selective membership criteria still persists.

Finally, the NSG waiver of 2008 and the Indo-U.S. nuclear dogma between both states was just for a highly profitable civilian nuclear deals for the U.S., France, Japan and other countries. Also, the sole purpose of this waiver and deal was to promote their domestic markets which are getting non-existent or shrinking. India wishes that it could be a major power, but it should know how major powers play their games for which India has not emerged as a winner yet.

Usman Ali Khan
Usman Ali Khan
Pursuing M.Phil degree at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad Freelance writer and blogger E-mail: Usmanalikhan6[at]