US May Force India to Sign NPT

Under fire from developing nations for US-Indo nuke deal which lets New Delhi remain outside the purview of Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), US may exert pressure on India to sign the treaty.

Assistant secretary of state, US, Rose Gottemoeller, said in a two-week meeting of the 189 signatories of the pact that India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel should join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, for the global pact is meant to limit the spread of atomic weapons.

Gottemoeller also defended a US-India civilian nuclear deal, which developing nations have complained, rewards New Delhi for staying outside the NPT.

“India is coming closer to the non-proliferation regime,” she said. She cited India’s willingness to work with Washington in pushing for a binding international treaty that would prohibit the further production of bomb-grade nuclear material and by improving its nuclear export controls.

However, she pressed for universal adherence to the NPT.

“Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea remains a fundamental objective of the United States,” she said.

It should be mentioned that at the NPT meeting, developing countries have criticized the endorsement of the US-India nuclear agreement by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, an informal club of the world’s top producers of nuclear-related technology.

The group agreed in September to lift a ban on nuclear trade with India, imposed after New Delhi’s first nuclear test in 1974.

Delegates from poor nations complain that the endorsement was tantamount to rewarding India for remaining outside the treaty and secretly developing nuclear weapons.

In contrast, they say, developing states are denied access to sensitive technology because they are often deemed proliferation risks.

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