Modi government showed unnecessary desperation for NSG membership: Congress

Delhi, June 24 (IANS) As India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) came a cropper, the Congress on Friday said the Narendra Modi-led government had shown “unnecessary desperation” to become a member of the bloc and embarrassed the country in the process.

“Diplomacy is always done by wisdom and silence. We have never seen diplomacy being conducted in this manner, making it very clear whom you are lobbying with and whom you are petitioning with,” senior Congress leader and Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma told reporters at the party headquarters here.

“It is an embarrassment for India to do what was not required. This kind of intense lobbying by Prime Minister Modi and his government, we can understand, should have been done for UN Security Council membership,” Sharma said, insisting there was no need to show desperation that led India to be equated with Pakistan in the NSG case.

“Why did the Prime Minister and this government make so much of noise about it, and the kind of hectic campaigning and lobbying for it? In 2008, NSG had given India specific waiver which allowed India’s integration with the nuclear mainstream after decades of isolation,” he added.

That agreement, Sharma said, paved the way for India to enter into an agreement with the United States of America. He added that an India-specific IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) agreement allowed India to also trade with NSG countries.

“NSG countries can sell reactors to India and India can do the same. So there was no need of this desperation on the NSG issue,” Sharma said.

The Congress also expressed shock at the statement given by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj where she had said that India would have no objection to the entry of Pakistan into the NSG based on merit.

“Such a statement is absolutely shocking. It is a huge diplomatic letdown of the country after raising expectations to such a great height,” senior party spokesperson Prithviraj Chavan said talking to reporters here.

“The Prime Minister must explain as to what went wrong and what is the Prime Minister’s stand on Pakistan, particularly about Pakistan’s standards of behaviour on Non Proliferation, about Dr. A.Q. Khan’s work, giving nuclear technology in an unauthorized manner and in view of that how can India welcome Pakistan’s membership of the NPT, whatever the merit, you all know that there are some friendly countries who are supporting Pakistan’s case,” Chavan added.

He also said that the country was looking forward to a positive outcome because that would have been the culmination of the work started by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance when in July 2005 a joint statement of President Bush and Dr. Manmohan Singh had opened up the possibility of nuclear cooperation with global powers and the US in particular.



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