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India engaging with China on NSG, will never sign NPT: Govt

India on Wednesday said it is engaging with China to iron out differences after Beijing created ‘procedural hurdles’ for its entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) but made it clear that government will never ink Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

India engaging with China on NSG, will never sign NPT: Govt
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New Delhi

Responding to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said China had raised questions over how a non-NPT could become a member of the NSG. “But we are engaging with it. We have not stopped efforts,” she said. 

Asserting that India has a ‘clear cut’ policy on NPT, she said the government will ‘never sign NPT’ but will continue to fulfil its commitments made when it got the waiver in 2008. The minister rejected suggestions that India had created a lot of hype ahead of the NSG meet in Seoul. “We have been taught to make serious efforts to achieve things. No hype was created when we submitted our application for the membership of NSG on May 12. We did it with low fanfare,” she said. 

Swaraj also scoffed at suggestions by Supriya Sule (NCP) that the denial of NSG membership to India was a ‘huge diplomatic snub’ as it came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mexico and Switzerland. The Minister said Mexico supported India’s bid and when the decision did not go in New Delhi’s favour, Mexico demanded an extraordinary meeting to make the plenary decide again on the issue. Asserting that Indian diplomacy has made its mark, she said earlier people used to ask whether India can make it to the NSG. 

“Now when India will become a member is the question being asked,” she said in the presence of the Prime Minister. On the benefits of getting NSG membership, Swaraj said India will then become part of rule-making club. “We are rule takers not rule makers,” she said recalling a 2011 decision of NSG not to transfer sensitive enrichment and reprocessing technology to non-NPT states.

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