- Akram says Grossi formula now dead for procedural, substantive reasons
A stalemate at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) over Pakistani and Indian membership applications is likely to continue at the upcoming plenary of the 48-member nuclear cartel to be held in Switzerland in mid-June.
“Given the diverse issues, stalemate on applications of Pakistan and India is likely to continue for foreseeable future. I don’t see any change in the positions taken by US and China on the issue and as long as that is the case, there is no chance of consensus emerging on the issue,” said Zamir Akram, Pakistan’s former permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva.
He expressed these views while speaking at a roundtable on the NSG plenary meeting – challenges and prospects – at the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), a think tank specialising in strategic stability issues, here on Wednesday. Both Pakistan and India have not signed Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which forms an important consideration for membership of NSG, Akram told the gathering.
The issue of admission on non-NPT states was taken up at last year’s plenary in Seoul, but no consensus could be achieved because of sharp divisions among the members over the criteria for accepting such countries in its folds. Seoul plenary had decided to continue discussions on technical, legal and political aspects of the participation of non-NPT states in the NSG.
Akram said that the procedure through which Grossi formula was prepared and its substance was problematic. “Number of countries objected to very blatant and very obvious slant in Grossi proposals, which were designed to favour India and go against Pakistan,” he said. He said that the Grossi formula was now dead for procedural and substantive reasons.
He said that up to 25 countries, other than China, were defying American pressure and insisting on a two-step approach for admission of non-NPT states and development of an objective and equitable criteria that would be applicable to all applicants. He said that aggressive diplomatic outreach by Pakistan has resulted in greater realisation among the NSG countries about the likely implications of any further exception for India.
He was of the view that the US and its allies that wanted to give an open entry to India into NSG were blocking Pakistan because they wanted to deny it the legitimacy that comes with the NSG membership. Wasim Qutub emphasised that a criteria-based NSG membership would be a mutually beneficial proposition.
He cautioned that unilaterally admitting India would have serious consequences for strategic stability in South Asia, as it would accelerate arms race in the region. SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that India’s alone entry into NSG would put back Pakistani efforts for developing its infrastructure and industry by decades, besides having consequences for national security and economic and industrial development.
He observed that the world in its obsession for India should not forget that India was one of the worst proliferators.