US based body says India has not got ‘clean waiver’

September 7th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Call it words of frustration or a reality check on the euphoria that flowed out of Vienna, but the US-based Arms Control Association claims that India has not got the “clean” or “unconditional” waiver it demanded from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).At the end of the NSG’s marathon 76-hour meeting in Vienna Saturday, the powerful cartel that controls global supply of nuclear fuel, equipments and technologies awarded the “waiver” to India.

Despite being elated at the historic decision that ended India’s three decades of nuclear isolation and opened the doors for trade between New Delhi and NSG members, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon refused to say whether it was a “clean waiver” for India.

“The NSG statement on India does not meet the ACA’s standards or that of a large number of NSG states nor should it satisfy key US Congressional leaders, but it is not the ‘clean’ and ‘unconditional’ waiver India was demanding either,” the Association said in a statement on its website.

It went on to say that in the days to come there will be “serious differences” between India and the NSG members about the interpretations of the guidelines as many of the issues were not fully resolved at the group’s meeting in Vienna.

“Because the negotiations were tough and the real differences not fully resolved, there will likely be serious differences between India and most of the NSG about the interpretation of what the guidelines allow and don’t allow and what the consequences of any violation of India’s non-proliferation and disarmament commitments would be,” the ACA said.

But it also added: “This outcome is a failure of the NSG as a whole, the US delegation, and the NSG chair Germany.”

The Association, which has been a strong opponent of concessions to India, said that from the statements issued by the NSG, and some of its members such as Austria, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and “others” - it was evident that for all “practical purposes” there were problems ahead for India.

The ACA listed some of them:

*NSG states should not and will not likely engage in “full” nuclear trade with India;

*NSG states should and very likely would terminate nuclear trade with India if it resumes testing; and

*India’s compliance with it pre-2005 non-proliferation commitments and the implementation of bilateral trade with India will be reviewed on a regular (probably annual) basis by the NSG.

To explain why this will happen, the Arms Control Association said: “Most states will try to remain consistent with US law, policy, and the US interpretations of its bilateral trade agreement with India.”

It added: “Collectively, these bar the transfer of enrichment, reprocessing, and heavy water technology to Indian national facilities, the Hyde Act also mandates a cutoff of US trade if India resumes testing, and according to the State Department’s Jan 16 responses to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, US fuel supply assurances will be invalid if India tests for any reason.”

The ACA claimed that some of the NSG members who were reluctant to give their waiver for India had made it clear how the group’s policy on India will be implemented.

It said: “Japan noted that the exemption for India was decided on the condition that India continues to observe its commitments, especially its nuclear test moratorium pledge.

“Japan noted that if India resumed testing, ‘the logical consequence is to terminate trade,’ most of the other statements also made this point.”

The Association pointed out that Germany, “and perhaps others,” have made it clear that they expected India to take “further non-proliferation and disarmament measures”.

It said this also included “the entry into force of the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) and a termination of fissile material production for weapons”.

The provisions of the CTBT makes it clear that it will not come “into force” or cannot be implemented unless a country like India also signs and ratifies. India has neither signed nor ratified the treaty.

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