India in touch with NSG members on Sino-Pak nuke deal: Sources

June 20th, 2010 - 7:56 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, June 20 (ANI): Expressing reservations over ambiguity prevailing over a proposed civil nuclear deal between Pakistan and China, official sources here said that that deal is very much on India ’s radar, and, “we are seeking more information.”

“India is also in touch with partners at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and have explained its position on the issue during the interactions at various levels and have expressed its reservation to Beijing at diplomatic level,” the official sources said.

China recently announced that it would set up two reactors in Pakistan. Beijing has already set up two power reactors earlier.

Official sources hinted the issue could be raised during the June 24 foreign secretary-level talks.

“Seeking to build trust, nothing stops India from raising this issue,” the official sources added.

Questions and concerns have been raised and aired by New Delhi about the proposed sale of reactors to Pakistan by China.

India ’s main apprehension, according to the sources, is whether or not these reactors would be the “grandfather” of previous reactors supplied to Pakistan?

India also believes there is a need to meet NSG and IAEA guidelines, the official sources said, adding that New Delhi is not against Pakistan developing its economic sector.

China, which has been a member of the NSG since 2004, is required to seek an exemption from the 45-nation grouping that controls global flow of nuclear technology and material before supplying reactors to Pakistan.

Pakistan has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

China insists the sale of two nuclear reactors to Islamabad is in accordance with its international obligations. There are however, chances of NSG countries coming together to let Beijing go through this “grandfather” of deals.

India is not an NSG member and is strictly opposed to this “grandfather” formula promoted by Beijing. New Delhi also has reservations over expanding nuclear ties between all weather friends Pakistan and China.

It should be noted that the 45-member NSG had granted a waiver to India to facilitate a civil nuclear deal with the United States in 2008, though; it was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

NSG members are meeting in New Zealand where China is expected to make an announcement of its intent to sell reactors to Pakistan.

The proposal, however, is not on the official agenda of the meet.

New Delhi is also likely to escalate it’s behind the scenes diplomatic efforts to scuttle the proposed deal, which it feels could have larger implications on national security. (ANI)

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