QUESTIONS ASKED – DAY-6 (25/07/2013)
1) What role did Parliament play in finalizing the India-US nuclear deal? Discuss.
2) On what grounds India is opposing both NPT and CTBT. Critically analyze.
NPT was found in 1970 for a time period of 25Y saying after that it would be amended according to the current situation. Prior to the NPT conference in New York in 1995, India believed the proposed CTBT would prevent the emergence of new nuclear weapons states and limit proliferation of existing states. These hopes were soon eroded.
India was forced to sign NPT in1995.for this china issued a National Statement on Security Assurance. Indian analysts found difference in phrases used in1982 assurance and current one in former they mentioned unconditional where as in later they used at any time or any circumstances which implies assurance is given only who signs NPT
In 1995 UN Security Council passed resolution 984 which says security guaranties to those non nuclear weapon states which acceded to NPT. India therefore refused to accede NPT and reiterated the reasons for doing s: by making to classes of nations NPT is discriminatory; also the treaty did not encourage the existing nuclear powers to move towards nuclear discrimination. New Delhi pointed out that extending the treaty signified acceptance of prevailing unequal order. The NPT, India noted, required the nuclear disarmament of specified non-nuclear states while legitimizing the nuclear weapons status of permanent members of the Security Council.
Also, the treaty allows an exporting country to withhold supplies if it user license for the exports are questionable, or national records on the use of ammunition are not satisfactory. If supplies are withheld, as occurred during the Kargil conflict in 1999, there could be serious consequences for India.
Finally, India is currently the world’s largest arms importer. It relies on imports to modernize its military forces. The arms treaty would, effectively, put this process at risk
But India is willing to have a consensus over CTBT in country only if some of her demands are conceded. Such as, it demands that India should be included in the club of Nuclear weapon states and the countries having nuclear arms should go for a comprehensive programme for disarmament with specific time bound resolution. But no proper attention has been given to our demands and India has refused to become a party of the treaty.
The Indo-US nuclear deal has 3 components. A Separation Plan under which India would separate its civilian and military nuclear complexes. The civilian nuclear complexes would be put under IAEA inspection. Lastly a waiver from NSG to import nuclear fuel and technology despite being a non NSG member. On finalization India would be able to import nuclear fuel and technology form other countries.
The deal became highly controversial for its various implications on India’s strategic interests. The issue was raised in Parliament and discussed in detail. It was raised here that the deal would indirectly bring India under purview of NSG and US laws that would not allow India to conduct nuclear test in the future.
Left pulled out its support of government and it was asked to prove its majority on the floor of the house. Government survived by a thin 19 votes majority. The issue of nuclear test was discussed by both the parties and later clarified that the moratorium on nuclear test was unilateral an voluntary and there was no pressure on India from outside.
The event shows the important role Parliament plays in safeguarding the interest of country. However it should be ensured that interest of the country and stability of government are not compromised for party politics.
The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) are 2 very important international agreements with the aim of ensuring peaceful use nuclear weapons. The world has seen in the past the destruction nuclear weapons can cause during World War 2 and it is therefore important to ensure nuclear weapons do not reach untrustworthy hands.
NPT obliges its signatories to nuclear disarmament, non proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear technology. NPT recognizes 5 countries as Nuclear Weapons State (NWS) and with no obligation to disarm.
The CTBT intends to put a ban on nuclear weapon test explosion by its signatories. But it is yet not in force. As 8 member have not yet ratified it, they include USA, China, both signatories of NPT.
India, North Korea and Pakistan have declared to possess nuclear weapons however declined to be part of either NPT or CBDT. India has called the NPT as discriminatory as the NWS possess a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons and do not show any inclination to disarm. On no ethical grounds can the discrimination be justified.
Another concern raised by India is the nuclear deal signed by China and Pakistan. China is a NWS under NPT and NPT disallows such agreement. India has declared that it would sign CTBT given USA ratifies it. However USA has put several conditions for the ratification.
Thus NPT and CTBT are seen as flawed, discriminatory by India. The possession of nuclear weapons by certain countries puts them in a superior position. Of the NWS, USA used nuclear weapon during WW 2, China is known for its aggressive territorial encroachments, Russia was main player during Cold War, Britain has a colonial history of exploiting. Therefore no country can be trusted as a guardian of all nuclear weapons in the world.
India has been a long time supporter of nuclear non proliferation and denuclearisation. India is the only state with nuclear weapons to have offered to forego its nuclear weapons if whole world agreed to denuclearisation. Despite this, india has opposed treaties like NPT, CTBT which address isues of nuuclear proliferation.
NPT was a treaty negotiated mostly by the permanent members of UN security council. It was meant to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons. It divided the world into nuclear weapon states and non nuclear weapon states. All states that acquired nuclear technology before NPT came into force were considered as nuclear weapon states. The treaty banned non nuclear weapon states[NNWS] from developing nuclear weapons while it had no such provision on nuclear weapon states[NWS]. Similarly the treaty bans transfer of nuclear weapon technology from NWS to NNWS however there is no restriction on transfer of technology between the NWS. NNWS are subject to safeguards of IAEA unlike to NWS. Further the treaty doesn’t have any provision calling for disarmament by NWS. By banning NNWS from developing nuclear weapons, the treaty violates sovereign power of a nation to defend its borders. Further the treaty has no provisions to safeguard NNWS from a nuclear attack by NWS. India sees these provisions as discriminatory and calls for a more egalitarian treaty
Comprehensive test ban treaty was opened was signature in 1990s. Its aim is to ban test of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapon test is an important step in development of nuclear weapons. hence banning nuclear weapon test would prevent spread of nuclear weapons to non nuclear weapon states. The treaty established CTBT organisation to oversee implementation of treaty. India has refused to sign this treaty on following grounds
1. While it bans nuclear weapon tests, it doesn’t ban computer simulated tests which can help NWS to upgrade their existing weapons
2. India has been calling for a time bound global nuclear disarmament . The treaty has no such clause mandating NWS to denuclearize
3. Treaty specifically identifies 44 nations whose ratification of treaty is a prerequisite for the treaty to come into force. India is one of them. This is seen by India as discriminatory
Hence India’s concerns regarding these treaties are genuine. It is time for global community to renegotiate these treaties on a multilateral platform to ensure that they reflect the realities of 21st century world.
During the finalization of India – US nuclear deal government faced the stiff opposition in Parliament. Government had to face no-confidence motion but finally it won.
Many of the members of Parliament were against the some provisions of Hyde act, accordingly government made a series of hard negotiations to neutralize the negative implications of it through a bilateral agreement.
Both the countries finally concluded a 123 agreement which provided the legal basis to two countries to cooperate in the civil nuclear field.
Due to differences on the issue India got time and space to bargain with the US to get more and more benefits.
There were two important concerns first, right of reprocessing of imported spent nuclear fuel and second was an uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuel to imported reactors.
As India took time US addressed the second concern and agreed to help India in obtaining fuel from the suppliers and to create a stockpile to mitigate the effects of any interruption.
Parliament provided an opportunity for better negotiations and more benefits.
India opposes NPT on the following grounds
treaty imposes safeguards only on the non-weapon states;
under the treaty weapon states have right to explore peaceful uses of nuclear material;
it doesn’t have impressive commitment by weapon states;
it doesn’t address security concerns of non-weapon states.
India is against CTBT due to following reasons,
it is neither comprehensive nor it bans all types of testing such as sub critical and computer/laboratory testing.
As both its neighbors Pakistan and China are weapon state India wanted to retain its strategic flexibility.
It favours five nuclear powers, it allowed them to keep their nuclear arsenals;
It provides for an agency which was to monitor the implementation was a breach on sovereignty.
India maintain a position that both the treaties are discriminatory,
they imposes a ban on new tests but doesn’t do anything to eliminate the existing nuclear weapons.
India is right in opposing the treaties, as any treaty should provide equal provision for all the signatories. It should address the concerns of all the member nations. But both the treaties doesn’t address India’s concern. Though India agrees to sign the treaties if they are modified and if a clause is added to address the concern of non weapon states.
The signing of the Indo-US nuclear deal better known as 123 agreement meant that US could push for civilian nuclear cooperation with India. This deal led India to separate its military and civil nuclear facilities and to place all its civil nuclear facilities under the supervision of IAEA. Also, granting of waiver from the NSG, a nuclear suppliers group to trade civil nuclear technology with India took place.
This deal was opposed in the parliament by a number of political parties. The left finally pulled out of the government which led to a no confidence motion for the Congress. However, it managed to overcome this crisis but by a small margin. The opposition to the deal mainly came from the fact that India could no longer have a strategic reserve of fuel supply and could not test a nuclear device. If it does so, the NSG waiver would be withdrawn and shutting of US nuclear deal would be imminent. Thus the country would compromise on its sovereignty and independent nuclear testing policy.
Thus there was wide discussion and deliberation before signing of the India US nuclear deal in the parliament.
The NPT is an international treaty which prevents the spread, non proliferation and disarmament of nuclear arsenal in future and the right to peaceful use of nuclear technology. The NPT has recognized five NWS. The NPT has been ratified by almost all countries in the world barring a few like India, Pakistan, Isreal, N Korea, S Sudan.
CTBT, on the other hand is a treaty to ban nuclear tests of all kinds both civilian and military in near future. This treaty is yet to come into force due to non ratification of eight specific states. India’s stand is that it would ratify the treaty only after US ratifies it. President Obama has vowed to ratify the treaty at the earliest possible practical date. So India’s ground is valid in opposing both these treaties as both Pakistan and China is armed with nuclear weapons and India cannot afford to voluntarily ratify both the treaty. Moreover, China has proliferated the nuclear arms to both Pakistan and N Korea.It would lead to a state of insecurity in the defence establishment and administration in India.
Given India’s impeccable record in non proliferation of nuclear arms and the right to peacefully use civilian nuclear technology, it can pursue its civilian nuclear capabilities without ratifying both the NPT and CTBT.