Engagement with China continues on NSG membership says Sushma Swaraj


New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said the government is making a wholehearted effort to gain membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), adding it was still talking to China over the 'procedural hurdles' posed by Beijing for India's membership. Swaraj told expressing hope that the issues would be resolved.

"But we are engaging with it. If someone says 'No' for once, it does not mean he won't agree at all … like GST… almost all parties have agreed to it but Congress has not. That does not mean it it will never agree (to the GST bill)," she said. Sushma Swaraj also said India will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, adding that New Delhi had managed to get waiver in 2008 without signing the treaty.

Swaraj also scoffed at suggestions by Supriya Sule (NCP) that the denial of NSG membership to India was a 'huge diplomatic snub' as it came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Mexico and Switzerland. Congress had targeted the Modi-led government for failing to gain entry into the NSG in the backdrop of China playing a spoiler.

The 48-nation NSG aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by restricting the sale of items that can be used to make those arms. While majority of the elite group members backed India's membership, it is understood that apart from China, countries like Turkey, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand were not in favour of India's entry into the NSG.

China maintains opposition to India's entry, arguing that it has not signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, it has been batting for its close ally Pakistan's entry if NSG extends any exemption for India.