Another undue US favour for India

THE United States has decided to waive licensing requirement for high technology weapons exports to India. Reacting to the development, Foreign Office spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal described it as a disturbing continuation of policies of discrimination and exceptionalism, further eroding the longstanding non-proliferation norms.
The latest move will, no doubt, have serious implications on the strategic stability in South Asia where India already has an upper edge as far as acquisition of sensitive technologies and weapons are concerned. The United States took a lead in finalising civil nuclear cooperation accord with India and since then members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) appear to be in mad race to extend all sorts of cooperation to New Delhi to help further its nuclear and missile programmes. As against this, the United States has so far not listened seriously to repeated requests of Pakistan to treat it at par with India at least as far as civilian use of nuclear technology is concerned. Presently, only China is extending such cooperation to Pakistan while the United States is evading consensus by other NSG members on extending similar cooperation and concessions for Pakistan. The Indo-US nuclear deal recognised the nuclear status of India, while continuing to exclude Pakistan from the nuclear club. US officials argued that India’s case was unique and Pakistan does not qualify for similar treatment.
The licensing waiver for dual use technologies would encourage India to sharpen its nuclear teeth and it is known to all that India’s military preparations, besides aiming at China, are mainly directed at Pakistan. This also means that the United States is insensitive to Pakistan’s legitimate security and defence concerns and needs and has become a party raising security threat for Pakistan. This is despite the fact that Pakistan is extending fullest possible cooperation in countering regional and global threat of terrorism. There is also another dimension of the entire episode: Signing of bilateral nuclear accords by several NSG members with India means they have economic and commercial stakes in India and therefore have become vocal in supporting New Delhi’s bid to become NSG member. All these countries should clearly realise that discriminatory approach would create more troubles for the non-proliferation regime.

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