India has exuded confidence that it can leverage and work on its strength in the wake of the recent decision of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) placing restrictions on transfer of sensitive technology, while describing the development as a “dynamic process” which is not yet “set in stone.”

“… Let me say that these guidelines have not been published in open text yet. We need to study that more fully and we need to draw our conclusions … you have to look at this as a dynamic process, Let me say one thing very clearly … that the international nuclear order will change in India's favour. And I am sure of that,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said on television programme “Devil's Advocate'.”

On the recent decision of the NSG not to sell enrichment reprocessing technologies to countries that had not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Ms. Rao said nothing had been “set in stone” and asserted that the sanctity of the 2008 NSG decision providing India clean exemption must be maintained and upheld.

India and its various partner-countries had entered into full bilateral civil nuclear cooperation commitments which must be taken forward and the United States, France and Russia recognised these points, she said.

“A dynamic process”

While New Delhi did not welcome the development, it was something it knew and fought against, but she disagreed with the interviewer Karan Thapar that India failed to prevent it. “It is not a question of failure. You have to look at this as a dynamic process … the international nuclear order will change in India's favour.”

Refusing to go with the description [of the NSG decision] by the former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar, as a betrayal since India had already obtained the waiver, Ms. Rao said that as a professional engaged in this process, the latest decision was not the “end of the road. It is not set in stone.”

Mutual reciprocity

Hinting that India had leverages to exert, she said: “There is a balance of interest, there is a balance of commitments, there is mutual reciprocity … The whole issue of full bilateral civil nuclear cooperation, the fact that India has the potential to develop 60,000 MWe of electricity from nuclear energy by 2030 … is a great attraction to the rest of the world … we will defend our interests to the hilt.”

The Foreign Secretary was confident of India's strengths. Stating that people had the tendency to proclaim defeat at every such turn, she re-emphasised that eventually New Delhi's strength and leverage would prevail.

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