The United States maintained that Pakistan’s application to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which was submitted last week in Vienna, will be determined by a consensus.
A statement issued in Islamabad said, “The decision to seek participation in the export control regime reflects Pakistan’s strong support for international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.”
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner, when asked his opinion on Pakistan’s request at his News briefing on Friday, said, “They have made public their interest, and certainly any country can submit its application for membership. And we’ll consider it based on a consensus decision.”
The NSG, initiated in reaction to India’s nuclear test in May 1974, is made up of 48 members and its main objective is to lessen overabundance of nuclear power by regulating the trade and distribution of nuclear resources.
India also requested to join the NSG although its nuclear tests, expecting that it would be recognised as a nuclear power once a member.
According to Mr Toner, India’s application which US backs, might be discussed in the upcoming NSG meeting in South Korea.
Ed Markey, a US Senator, has cautioned that permitting India to become a member of the NSG would result in a “never-ending” nuclear battle in South Asia.
Senator Markey warned, “What you are doing is creating an action-reaction that is leading to a never-ending escalation cycle that ultimately leads to development of nuclear weapons, including battlefield nuclear weapons.”
“Making these exemptions further infuriates Pakistan into further expanding its nuclear capacity.” He added, “It is a very dangerous long-term trend, especially when we are so concerned on the spectre of nuclear weapons falling in the hands of non-state actors.”
“This is not about an arms race and it’s not about nuclear weapons. This is about the peaceful civil use of nuclear energy, and so we would certainly hope that Pakistan understands that,” Mr Toner said.
The Spokesman further went on to added that will US official make it clear that discussions about the possibilities of new members joining the NSG is an internal issue among the existing members.
The US official when probed if he thought the US had managed to “generate a consensus” within the NSG in India’s favour, replied, “All I can say is that during his visit to India in 2015, President Obama did affirm the US view that India meets missile technology control regime requirements and is ready for membership. But it’s a consensus body, so we’ll wait and see how the vote goes.”
Senator Markey had also underscored the fact that India had not yet signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which was the basis for preserving the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang, on May 13, said in Beijing that more than a few other NSG members were supporting the blockage.
Mr Lu asserted that a lot of the members believed that ratifying the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was significant.
Earlier this week, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, during a visit to China, conveyed to Chinese leaders that India should be permitted to become a member of the NSG based on its of its own qualifications and not its connection to Pakistan.
Mr Lu was also queried about the rumours that China was supporting Pakistan’s admittance into NSG relating it to India’s admission into the union replied that NSG was an essential component of NPT and that matter should be primarily dealt with then access to new members can be deliberated on.