Motley crowd of NGO, NPT specialists requests NSG to reject India-specific exemptions

Washington: Even as India and the United States gear up to present their case to exempt India from long-standing global nuclear trade standards, a motley bandwagon of non-proliferation specialists and non-government organisations have issued an appeal asking foreign ministers of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to reject the US proposal.

According to reports, over 150 non-proliferation specialists and NGOs, from around two-dozen countries, have informed foreign ministers of the NSG through a letter that "India's commitments under the current terms of the proposed arrangement do not justify making far-reaching exceptions to international non-proliferation rules and norms."

The 45-member nation NSG is scheduled to meet next week in Vienna to discuss the US proposal to relax its restrictions on trade with states, such as India, that refuse to accept provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

India has consistently claimed that provisions of the treaty are discriminatory.

The letter has been flagged by some organisation called the Arms Control Association which has been very active in opposing the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal from the very beginning. Its executive director, Daryl Kimball, has expressed the hope that opposition to the India-related move may be expected from several members.

"Unlike 178 other countries, India has not signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). It continues to produce fissile material and expand its nuclear arsenal. As one of only three states never to have signed the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has not made a legally- binding commitment to achieve nuclear disarmament," it said.

Organisations of such a nature have consistently failed to address the fact that India has an unblemished record as far as non-proliferation matters are concerned.