At least 10 others toed our line, claims China; Nawaz missives worked, boasts Pakistan
NEW DELHI: After India blamed ‘one country’ — indirectly hinting at China — for blocking its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China said at least “10-odd countries” had pushed the group to discuss the issue of non-NPT states’ inclusion in the group.
The Chinese foreign ministry said besides China “other ten-odd countries pushed the group to discuss the issue of non-NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) states’ entry in an innovative format in a bid to uphold the NPT as the bedrock of the international non-proliferation regime”.
“The plenary meeting issued a news release that the meeting held discussions on technical, legal and political issues regarding the accession of non-NPT members and agreed to continue with such discussions,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei. After the plenary meeting in Seoul, New Delhi had claimed that procedural hurdles were persistently raised by one country, hinting that China alone was opposing India’s bid. China opposed India’s entry despite PM Narendra Modi reaching out to President Xi Jingping at Tashkent. “We believe that they should forge a consensus and then make a decision based on consultations regarding the entry of a specific country,” Hong said, without directly referring to India.
Meanwhile, a top Pakistani diplomat claimed that Islamabad’s intensive diplomatic lobbying, including letters written by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his 17 counterparts, prevented India from gaining entry into the NSG. Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, said hectic diplomatic efforts were undertaken to inform world leaders about Pakistan’s position on the NSG entry.
“Prime Minister Sharif personally wrote letters to 17 prime ministers of different countries on the matter, which is on record,” Aziz said told the media in Islamabad.
Pakistan has been trumpeting India’s failure to enter the NSG as its success though it seldom mentioned what happened to its own application for the membership.
India and Pakistan are the two non-NPT states aspiring for membership of the 48-member nuclear grouping. Pakistan had tried to sell the idea that a criteria-based non-discriminatory approach was needed to admit new members. (With PTI inputs)