The biggest task on the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his US tour between June 4 and 8 is to win over those who oppose India’s entry to the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
According to reports, New Delhi had applied for entry to the NSG on May 12. A day later, reports of China blocking India’s entry to the group surfaced. China vehemently defended itself amid allegations that it did so at the behest of Pakistan.
Member countries of the NSG. IDRW
On May 24, President Pranab Mukherjee went to China with the message that India should be granted entry and such a move should not be linked to Pakistan. India is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to enter the NSG.
It should be noted that China is not the only country which opposes India’s entry to the group; Mexico and Switzerland are among the 45-member NSG putting up strong opposition.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Reuters
Reports say that Modi will not only be talking to senior US officials to assure them of India’s plans but also be visiting Mexico and Switzerland to talk on which harbor reservations against India’s entry to the group.
The PM was scheduled to visit Afghanistan and Qatar besides the US during his four-day trip, but reports say that Modi will now also be travelling to Mexico and Switzerland and talk with them about the NSG entry.
While the PM will visit Switzerland on June 6, he will travel to Mexico on June 9. The meetings are significant because the NSG has called for an ‘extraordinary’ plenary meeting in Seoul, South Korea, from June 20 to 24.
New Delhi’s plan is to counter Beijing’s influence on countries opposing India’s entry.
According to Indian Express
, seeking support for NSG membership has been an agenda during Modi’s has visit to any of the member countries in last two years.
A key concern of those opposing India’s entry is that it is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), though being a signatory to the NPT is not mandatory. NSG that takes decisions only by consensus. With backing from China, Islamabad applied for NSG membership a week after India. At the same time New Delhi has strong support of Washington.