India is lowering its expectations on getting full membership in all the four global export control regime system, accepting that it should consider entering two of these groups — the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) — first.
MTCR membership, a body that does not include China, is being seen as achievable within a year, say both US and Indian sources. India is hoping for a ‘time-bound’ commitment from US President Barack Obama on entering these two groupings as the process of becoming a part of these have remained a long process.
Though the US first supported India in November 2010, it changed its stance later. Part of the reason is that after the failure of India to buy nuclear reactors from the US, Washington was no longer willing to do the diplomatic ‘heavy lifting’ on India’s behalf.
The US endorses India but the lobbying is being seen as India’s task.
“We have impeccable non-proliferation records, India’s responsible behaviour as a nuclear state for more than three decades stands out. US has acknowledged this. So we would like to get a commitment with a timeline at sight for NSG and MTCR first,” said an official.
Since 2010, India has been seeking full membership to four export control regimes — NSG, MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement. Most of the major suppliers of high technology, including very sensitive technologies that have dual use of military and civil nature, are members of these regimes.
Pakistan is a member in none of these groups. And China is a member only in the NSG and according to Indian sources, it would like Pakistan to join the grouping as well.
American sources, however, also said that the US believed Australia group may be a more realistic target for India than the NSG.