India is looking forward to joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), overcoming the political impediments that are against global interest, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday. He made the remarks in an address to the foreign diplomatic corps based in India during an event hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to mark eight years of the Narendra Modi government.
"Strengthening a rules-based order is a natural inclination of a polity like India. We value all opportunities to contribute to it," he said. Jaishankar said India's membership of the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime), Australia Group, and the Wassenaar Arrangement is significant. All these groupings are multilateral export control regimes.
"As a nation with a substantial nuclear industry, we also look forward to joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group, overcoming the political impediments that are against global interest," Jaishankar said. The 48-member NSG is an elite club of countries that deals with the trade-in nuclear technology and fissile materials besides contributing to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. China has been stridently opposing India's NSG bid primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Its opposition has made India's entry into the group difficult as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.
Jaishankar also articulated India's foreign policy priorities. "The India that you live in and report on is obviously different from the one before. It has developed as its focal point, whether at home or in foreign policy. It is a daily proof that democracies can deliver," he said. "Its human development indices improve constantly, even as it rises to meet unprecedented challenges. This is a polity with enhanced popular participation in its decision making and greater authenticity in its expressiveness," he said.
"It is one that harmonizes its national interests with its international obligations. Appropriately, as India celebrates 75 years of independence, it seeks to do so with the world," Jaishankar added.