Critic seeks test ban as condition for NSG India waiver

August 23rd, 2008 - 11:27 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 23 (IANS) A major critic of the India-US nuclear deal has asked the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to insist on termination of nuclear trade if India conducts a nuclear test as a minimum condition for giving New Delhi a waiver.”At a minimum, the NSG make clear that nuclear trade with India shall be terminated if it resumes testing for any reason,” Daryl Kimball, a non-proliferation hawk and executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, said Friday.

“If India cannot agree to such terms, it suggests that India is not serious about its nuclear test moratorium pledge,” he said, reacting to NSG’s failure to reach a consensus on the issue at its Vienna meeting.

The cartel will meet again Sep 4-5 to try to resolve the matter.

“A number of NSG states have the common sense and courage to propose some common-sense restrictions and conditions on nuclear trade with India to reduce the risk that such trade will assist India’s nuclear bomb programme,” Kimball said.

“Even with the additional conditions and restrictions that were proposed, an India-specific exemption from NSG rules would be a serious mistake that would blow a hole in the nuclear non-proliferation system,” he said.

“At this point, we can expect that Washington and New Delhi will now try to wordsmith the NSG guideline on India to the point of being meaningless and force a decision at the next NSG meeting,” Kimball said.

“In response, responsible NSG states should insist on guidelines relating to India that are clear and unambiguous,” he said. “And given that the NSG participant states’ actions on this issue will have an impact for decades to come, they should not rush to judgment.”

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