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India taps NSG over Sino-Pak N-deal

By The Assam Tribune

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS): Concerned about the China-Pakistan nuclear deal, India has sought more details on it from Beijing and has conveyed its reservations to influential countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which is expected to take up the proposed arrangement at its meeting in New Zealand next week.

"It's certainly an issue that concerns India. The Chinese side is aware of our need for more information and clarification about the deal," official sources said here on Sunday.

The sources added that India has conveyed its concerns to Beijing in conversations with Chinese leaders in the past few months. India has also reached out to key NSG countries like the US, which is planning to oppose the deal at the June 24 meeting of the nuclear cartel that regulates the global trade in atomic equipment and fuel.

"We have been touch with a number of our partners on this issue. The issue is very much on our radar screen," the sources said when asked whether India had reached out to NSG countries on the issue.

Pakistan, the sources said, is fully aware of India's position on clandestine proliferation. China has confirmed that Chinese and Pakistani officials have signed an agreement to finance the construction of two nuclear reactors to be built by the China National Nuclear Corporation at the Chashma site in Pakistan.

China earlier built two reactors for Pakistan before it joined the NSG in 2004.

"Certain questions have been raised about whether they are new rectors or they are being grandfathered under an earlier agreement," the sources said. They were alluding to the confusion about whether China will try to win an exemption from the NSG by peddling the line that the two proposed reactors are not new ones but are an extension of an earlier agreement before Beijing joined the NSG in 2004.

Clarifying that India is not against against Pakistan developing its energy sector, the sources indicated that the issue could figure in the discussions between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir June 24, the same day the NSG meets in New Zealand.

However, India will firm up its stand on the deal only after knowing the outcome of the June 24 meeting of the NSG in New Zealand.

The NSG forbids transfer of nuclear materials to the countries who have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It, however, made one-time exception for India in September 2008 by clearing the India-US nuclear deal in view of New Delhi's flawless non-proliferation record.

While New Delhi is reasonably confident that the China-Pakistan nuclear deal will not pass muster at the 45-nation NSG due to Islamabad's dubious proliferation record, there are apprehensions that Beijing will try to hard-sell it by using its growing global clout.

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India taps NSG over Sino-Pak N-deal

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS): Concerned about the China-Pakistan nuclear deal, India has sought more details on it from Beijing and has conveyed its reservations to influential countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which is expected to take up the proposed arrangement at its meeting in New Zealand next week.

"It's certainly an issue that concerns India. The Chinese side is aware of our need for more information and clarification about the deal," official sources said here on Sunday.

The sources added that India has conveyed its concerns to Beijing in conversations with Chinese leaders in the past few months. India has also reached out to key NSG countries like the US, which is planning to oppose the deal at the June 24 meeting of the nuclear cartel that regulates the global trade in atomic equipment and fuel.

"We have been touch with a number of our partners on this issue. The issue is very much on our radar screen," the sources said when asked whether India had reached out to NSG countries on the issue.

Pakistan, the sources said, is fully aware of India's position on clandestine proliferation. China has confirmed that Chinese and Pakistani officials have signed an agreement to finance the construction of two nuclear reactors to be built by the China National Nuclear Corporation at the Chashma site in Pakistan.

China earlier built two reactors for Pakistan before it joined the NSG in 2004.

"Certain questions have been raised about whether they are new rectors or they are being grandfathered under an earlier agreement," the sources said. They were alluding to the confusion about whether China will try to win an exemption from the NSG by peddling the line that the two proposed reactors are not new ones but are an extension of an earlier agreement before Beijing joined the NSG in 2004.

Clarifying that India is not against against Pakistan developing its energy sector, the sources indicated that the issue could figure in the discussions between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir June 24, the same day the NSG meets in New Zealand.

However, India will firm up its stand on the deal only after knowing the outcome of the June 24 meeting of the NSG in New Zealand.

The NSG forbids transfer of nuclear materials to the countries who have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It, however, made one-time exception for India in September 2008 by clearing the India-US nuclear deal in view of New Delhi's flawless non-proliferation record.

While New Delhi is reasonably confident that the China-Pakistan nuclear deal will not pass muster at the 45-nation NSG due to Islamabad's dubious proliferation record, there are apprehensions that Beijing will try to hard-sell it by using its growing global clout.