After being unable to get China on board, India is all set to knock New Zealand’s doors for support for its NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) entry bid. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to raise the subject of India’s NSG visit during New Zealand PM John Key’s visit this week. New Zealand has been one of the countries that has expressed reservations on India’s membership bid on the grounds of nuclear non-proliferation. New Zealand has argued that since India is not a signatory of the NPT, it does not cannot become a member of NSG.
According to an Indian Express report, India will raise the issue and showcase its non-proliferation credentials, as well as its need to access high technology. Key will be in India from October 24 to October 27, and NSG membership is expected to be one of the key areas of discussion from PM Modi’s side. MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Thursday, “Our credentials are very much known…we hope the NSG will see the logic in letting us be a part of the grouping. I assume that this is an important issue and I would only imagine that the issue will be discussed (during the bilateral meeting).”
A few days ago, Key reportedly said that the NSG issue will certainly be raised. “…if you admit any country to the nuclear suppliers group, then you have to be able to back that up and why you allowed it. And there are other countries — not just India – that want to join,” Key has said. On its part, India is expected to say that its case is different from other applicants (read Pakistan). According to the report, a presentation may also be made by Indian interlocutors who are said to be experts on issues of disarmament.
NSG membership will be a significant boost for India which is seeking to expand its atomic energy sector. NSG’s members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. PM Narendra Modi has been aggressively pushing for India’s NSG case because it would help the multi-billion-dollar drive to build nuclear power plants in partnership with the US, Russia and France.