‘Most members feel India meets NSG norms’

Most of the countries that were not ready to accept India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) spoke of the need for a process rather than an exception for India, nuclear non-proliferation expert Mark Fitzpatrick told The Hindu on the phone from Vienna, where he was following the extraordinary session closely.

He said most members felt India had fulfilled most of the criteria set by the NSG since 2008.

Seeking common ground

To that end, sources said Indian negotiators have been working hard to find common ground with their Chinese counterparts, adding that China had not yet directly informed India of the reasons for its opposition.

In addition, the government has considerably softened its public criticism of China, compared with April this year, when senior officials and Ministers reacted strongly to China’s decision to block the move to ban Masood Azhar.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has also moved quickly to liberalise visas and taking Chinese scholars and conference participants off the “prior referral” list, a move seen as another attempt to reach out to Beijing.

In addition, the India-U.S. joint statement during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington this week, raised eyebrows as it made no mention of the contentious South China Sea issue.