India is not seeking NSG berth as gift, says Vikas Swarup2 min read . Updated: 20 Jan 2017, 01:25 AM IST
Reacting strongly on China's statement that NSG membership can't be a 'farewell gift', India says it is not seeking the NSG berth as gift but on its non-proliferation record
New Delhi: India on Thursday said it was seeking to join the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) based on its non-proliferation record.
In a sharply worded statement, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said, “India is not seeking NSG membership as a gift. India is seeking it on its non-proliferation record. I, of course, cannot speak for other applicants."
The remarks came after a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman earlier this week said the admission of countries that were not signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT)—like India—to the NSG could not be a farewell gift that countries give each other.
The Chinese comment came after US assistant secretary of state Nisha Biswal described China as the “one outlier" blocking India’s membership. It also came ahead of US President Barack Obama handing over charge to president-elect Donald Trump on 20 January.
China has been blocking India’s membership to the 48-member NSG despite it securing the backing of a majority of members on the ground that India is not a signatory to NPT. China has been advocating a two-step approach for admission of countries that have not signed the NPT. As per the new stand announced by Beijing, it first wants to find a solution that is applicable to the admission of all non-NPT countries, followed by discussions on admitting specific nations.
Pakistan has thrown its hat into the NSG admission ring, apparently at the behest of China.
In separate remarks, Swarup said there was no room for any third-party mediation in its bilateral dispute with Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir.
Swarup made the comment when asked about news reports that the British parliament may debate the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Our position on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is very clear. All issues between India and Pakistan are to be resolved bilaterally, in accordance with the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. There is no room for any third party," Swarup said.
According to the news reports, Britain’s House of Commons is likely to debate Jammu and Kashmir. The debate was proposed by the Backbench Business Committee following an application from British MP David Nuttall.
The motion to be debated said: “That this House notes the escalation in violence and breaches of international human rights on the Indian side of the LoC in Kashmir; calls on the government to raise the matter at the UN."
“And further calls on the government to encourage Pakistan and India to commence peace negotiations to establish a long-term solution on the future governance of Kashmir based on the right of the Kashmiri people to determine their own future in accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council resolutions."
India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads over the Himalayan state since 1947. Both countries claim the region in its entirety but administer it in parts.
Last year, Kashmir saw weeks of unrest following the death of Burhan Wani who Indian security forces said was a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist. Pakistan described Wani as a Kashmiri leader, which soured relations between the two countries. Pakistan alleged human rights violations in Indian-ruled Kashmir, sending envoys around the world to highlight the Kashmir cause. India retaliated with raising the issue of human rights violations in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.