MUMBAI: The waiver granted to India by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to conduct nuclear commerce is more of a victory for the United States than an Indian win, according to the former Atomic Energy Commission chairman, P.K. Iyengar.

“Do remember that 34 years ago, the NSG was created by Americans. Hence it has been their onus to convince the group to grant the waiver to India to carry out the multi-billion dollar business as India is a large market,” Dr. Iyengar, a critic of the India-U.S. nuclear deal, told PTI.

During the entire process, “India was obliged to respect countries like Austria, New Zealand and Ireland as nuclear suppliers. What kind of suppliers are they God only knows,” he said.

“These nuclear nobodies would not have displayed such arrogance [by expressing their reservations against the waiver] without the tacit support and encouragement of China which has made its position clear,” another member in Department of Atomic Energy said.

Many scientists were peeved at China’s role at the NSG meet. “We were surprised to know that China opposed the unconditional waiver to India so vehemently on the ground of non-proliferation,” a scientist said.

“They have been responsible for actively supporting proliferation for more than the last two decades as signatories to international conventions. This duplicity only reveals their true intent,”

The former director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, A.N. Prasad, said: “Going through various steps taken by the government in the run-up to the NSG waiver, it appears that our right to test now remains only academic, on paper, for public consumption and the option for all practical purposes has been given up.”

“Of course, the economic fallout and the repercussion will be unbearable if we test,” he said. — PTI