Won’t sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: India

NEW DELHI: India will never sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj declared in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. She also said India continues to engage with China over its opposition to India’s entry to the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

“If someone does not agree to something once, it doesn’t mean that they will never agree to it. We are continuing our efforts in engaging with China on this issue,” said Swaraj on India’s bid to gain entry to the NSG, the global civil nuclear trading group.

Swaraj’s statements on the NSG issue came in response to queries from Opposition members on the status of India’s bid for entry into the elite nuclear trading group.

She also reiterated India’s aversion to signing the NPT, which New Delhi has continued to oppose on the grounds of being inherently unfair in excluding a vast majority of nations from an elite nuclear club.

Swaraj rejected suggestions that India had created a lot of “hype” ahead of the NSG meet in Seoul. “We have been taught to make serious efforts to achieve things…no hype was created when we submitted our application for the membership of NSG on May 12. We did it with low fanfare,” she said.

Beijing had raised the fact that India is not a signatory to the NPT as central to its opposition to granting New Delhi a membership to the NSG. It had argued against any concessions to India on this front, even as it acknowledged India’s impeccable non-proliferation record.

China had bunched India with Pakistan, an acknowledged proliferator of nuclear technology, saying allowing the entry of one non-NPT nation into the NSG would raise questions over legitimate nuclear powers.