India trying to join Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is accompanied by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (L) during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, U.S., June 6, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Vastavam web:  India is actively trying to join the export control regimes, the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, notwithstanding China’s attempts to stonewall its bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).An official said work on applying for a membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement had begun.An entry into the two groups can help strengthen India’s non-proliferation credentials and build up a strong case for it as the country seeks an entry into the 48-member NSG. Through the revised list of items, India also seeks to send a message about its larger commitment to non- proliferation.

Twenty-eight states are common members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Agreement and the NSG the four non-proliferation groups.India is a member of the 35-member MTCR, which it joined last year. Membership in Wassenaar and Australia Group would give India a chance for a closer interaction with member- states and also hold up its credentials, despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Neither China nor Pakistan is a member of either of the two groups. Rakesh Sood, a former special envoy of the Prime Minister for disarmament and non-proliferation, said India had been working with these export control regimes.A team from the 41-nation Wassenaar Arrangement had visited New Delhi early this year, he said.India’s membership to the NSG still looks very uncertain at this point of time due to the stiff opposition from China.