C. Jaishankar

SIVAGANGA: India will not accept amendments, if any, in the draft waiver by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, if these went beyond the promise given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Parliament on the nuclear deal, said Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Power.

Talking to The Hindu here on Saturday, he said: “We cannot go beyond what the Prime Minister has told in Parliament. He has given assurance to Parliament on what India can accept and what it cannot accept.”

Asked specifically about the chances of India accepting the changes mooted by a few in the NSG, Mr. Ramesh said: “There are some concerns. These have to be addressed. However, what kind of changes are there remains to be seen.”

When his attention was drawn to the concerns expressed by a few countries about the original waiver proposal, he said: “This was expected and it is not surprising. India always expected that the NSG process will take some time. I am sure that the primary responsibility of getting us the waiver is that of the United States of America. I am confident that NSG will see India as a special case and we cannot be equated with other countries. We are confident that we will be able to get the waiver.”

Work through consensus

There were 45 countries in the NSG table. Each of them had to be persuaded, and, it was not a secret that they would like India to join the Non Proliferation Treaty and sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. “We have our position. Those countries have their position. The United States cannot impose its will. It [NSG] is a democratic institution. It has to work through consensus,” Mr. Ramesh added.

He, however, made it clear that there was no question of India signing the NPT and the CTBT. At the same time, it was prepared to negotiate FMCT (Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty) at a future date.