Exclusive Interview with : Maj Gen (Dr) GD Bakshi, leading strategic analyst and Editor of Indian Military Review
Updated on: 30 Jun 2016
With NSG rejecting its membership bid, an upset India has said one country persistently created procedural hurdles during the discussions over the application to join the 48-nation grouping, in a clear reference to stiff Chinese opposition.
India's attempt to get membership of the prestigious Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was rejected by the Group at the end of a crucial two-day plenary in Seoul on Friday. NSG declared its "firm support" for the "full, complete and effective" implementation of the NPT (non-proliferation treaty) as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime thereby ruling out any exception to India. It was one country, China, to be precise, that persistently created procedural hurdles during the discussions on India's application in the 48-nation grouping.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup however asserted that India's participation in the NSG would have further strengthened nuclear non-proliferation regime and made global nuclear commerce more secure.
India's application for an entry to the NSG group was the focus of public and media attention over the past few weeks. It appeared to have emerged as the single most critical foreign policy priority for the Modi government. Despite the best of diplomatic efforts, India could not get China's support on the NSG issue and the group rejected the application.
India's stakes were quite high with regard to NSG. Had India got the membership, it would have helped India to reposition itself from "order following" nation to the nation "calling the shots". It would have also aided India — politically, economically and militarily — in strengthening itself in world politics.
Anju Grover for Indian Currents spoke to leading strategic analyst and Editor of Indian Military Review, Maj Gen (Dr) GD Bakshi, to know the implications of India not getting NSG membership and lessons learnt from it.
Q: India did not succeed in its "NSG mission". What is your reaction to it?
A: It is a reality. But, you don't stop trying because you may fail. We will keep pushing it till we get it. This is the first time that we tried to get into NSG and I am sure the next time around, we can go for all the holdouts like Brazil, Turkey and Ireland. Our Ambassadors and diplomatic staff will have to become active henceforth. Just as we targeted Mexico and Switzerland and got them around, we can get other countries the next time.
Q: The opposition parties have criticised the government for making last minute efforts to push for India's membership. If this exercise had started earlier, the results would have been better. Your reaction?