Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said India had a "long way to go" for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council because "those who have power do not want to give up power".
There is growing support for the view that countries like India "must find their place" in the reformed UN structure, Singh told reporters at the end of his six-day tour of United Kingdom and Finland, that holds the European Union presidency. Finland had, for the first time, announced its support for India's claim to the high table.
But Singh sees other problems ahead; on his way back he articulated them: "Having said that, I would like to say that those who have power do not want to give up power. I feel that some big powers have still not made up their mind".
The prime minister did not name any country but it is believed that United States was in mind. Three permanent members, Russia, Britain and France, have already spoken of their support for India's candidature. China is understood to have conveyed its willingness to let India sit on the high table in private but has not taken a position in public.
Singh's remarks follow his discussions with European Union leaders at the EU-India Summit this week where there was consensus on the need for reforms in the world body. "I think there is growing recognition that the existing UN structure, which reflects the realities of 1945, is no longer adequate to meet the challenges," the prime minister said on his way back from Helsinki.
The Prime Minister, however, sounded on an optimistic note on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, saying that he had been given to understand that the United States administration would have the necessary changes in law pushed through the legislative process.
As for support within the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group, Singh noted that the number of countries willing to make an exception for India was increasing. This was reflected in deliberations of the NSG members in Vienna three days ago too. Suggesting that he was not unduly worried on this count, Singh added: "In any case, all major powers, Russia, France, Britain and the US are supportive of India being given the exceptional treatment.
The prime minister—who had strongly raised the issue of terrorism through his six-day tour and earned the support of his counterparts—however, did not think too much of Islamabad rejecting charges of its role in the Mumbai serial blasts this July.
Singh and Musharraf had in Havana agreed to work jointly to counter terrorism and form a joint mechanism that would interact and share information and evidence on involvement of terrorist acts originating from across the border. The plan had provoked strident criticism from hardliners in India's security establishment who believed that Pakistan could not be expected to deliver on this promise.
The prime minister had then said that he wanted Islamabad to walk the talk on fighting terror and Delhi would hand over evidence under the joint mechanism that it considered "credible". Islamabad had, however, gone ahead to reject any Pakistani connection before examining the evidence.
"Before we give evidence, what is the use of talking about it? We will provide evidence in all cases where we feel that there is involvement of elements in the Pakistani establishment," Singh, who had found a "growing willingness" among countries to work with India during his foreign visit, said.