Australia’s non-proliferation envoy Gareth Evans has slammed the India-U.S. nuclear deal, saying it was a major hurdle in the goal of a nuclear-free world.

“Everybody knows that from India’s point of view it was a brilliant success but from the point of view of non-proliferation objectives it wasn’t as helpful as it could have been,” Mr. Evans told journalists here.

Mr. Evans, who is the co-chair of the International Commission for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament - a joint initiative of the governments of Japan and Australia, was speaking after presenting a report called ‘Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policymakers.’

One of the contributors for the report is the former National Security Adviser, Brajesh Mishra.

Mr. Evans said the commitments made by the Indian government were insufficient and set a bad precedent.

“It was a very bad deal from the point of view of non-proliferation and the kinds of principles that most of us are committed to simply because it did not demand enough of the Indian government in terms of issues such as non-production of fissile material or even non resumption of testing,” he said.

‘India behaviour excellent’

Though India’s past behaviour in non-proliferation had been “excellent,” Mr. Evans said similar deals should have much more stringent future commitments criterion to get uranium or cooperation on nuclear technology.

However, he said the “good” part of the deal was that India had come under a kind of check under the arrangement even though it remained outside the NPT regime.

“The extent to which the deal involved India in inspections of civil facilities does show that there is a way forward in terms of parallel process to which you can get people signed up to these commitments without actually joining the NPT,” he said.

Realities

He said the commission report recognised that the non-proliferation regime would have to deal with present-day realities if it wanted to succeed in the long run.

“We do have to recognise the reality of those three elephants outside the room, India, Pakistan and Israel and not just be in denial about that reality and try and find constructive ways forward and brining them within these disciplines,” he said.

“I hope that this issue does not spoil in anyway the effective negotiations of sensible outcomes at the NPT review conference,” he said.

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