India engaging with China over NSG, won’t sign NPT: Sushma Swaraj

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 21, 2016 00:34 IST
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. (HT File Photo)

India on Wednesday reiterated that it will not sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a pre-condition set by China to foil New Delhi’s last month’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha that government was engaging with China, which created ‘procedural hurdles’ at the Seoul plenary of the elite group, and expected that the issue will be resolved soon.

China had questioned how a non-signatory to NPT could become a member of the NSG.

“But we are engaging with it. If someone says ‘No’ for once, it does not mean he won’t agree at all ... like GST...almost all parties have agreed to it but Congress has not. That does not mean it will never agree (to the GST bill),” Swaraj said during a question hour.

Rejecting that the government crated ‘hype’ over its NSG bid, she said applying for the membership on May 12 was a low-key affair. “We have been taught to make serious efforts to achieve things... it is not proper to call it a hype,” she said responding to a jibe from one of the members.

Swaraj also scoffed at suggestions by NCP MP Supriya Sule that the denial of the 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 asked the group to 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.

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