WASHINGTON: India should meet the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s (NSG) standards and open talks with Pakistan and China on curbing nuclear weapons if it wants to push its case for membership in the 48-nation elite group, a leading US daily said on Sunday.
In a lead editorial ‘The New York Times’ said that America should press India to adhere to the standards on nuclear proliferation to which other nuclear weapons states adhere.
India’s application for NSG is slated for discussion later this month. “Obama is lobbying for India to win membership through a special exception,” ‘The Times’ editorial board said, ahead of the US visit of PM Narendra Modi who will meet with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
“If he succeeds, India would be in a position to keep Pakistan, which has also applied for membership, from gaining membership because group decisions must be unanimous,” the editorial said, adding that this could give Pakistan, which at one time provided nuclear technology to North Korea and Iran, new incentives to misbehave.
Opposition from China, which is close to Pakistan and views India as a rival, could doom India’s bid for now, it said, adding that the issue, however, will not go away. India is growing in importance and seeking greater integration into organisations that govern international affairs, it said.
“If it wants recognition as a nuclear weapons state, it should be required to meet the nuclear group’s standards, including opening negotiations with Pakistan and China on curbing nuclear weapons and halting the production of nuclear fuel for bombs,” the editorial said.