As I write India is engaged in hectic parleying with the Nuclear Suppliers Group.This 45 member group consisting of most letters of the alphabet (Argentina to the United States) are now engaged in deciding India's nuclear future.
It includes countries like Estonia,Slovakia, Slovenia and Luxembourg which most people would struggle to locate on a map.It includes countries like Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Ukraine who owe their existence to the largess (or bumbling depending on how you look at it) of a certain Mikhail Gorbachev and forever exist with the Damocles sword of the Russian bear hanging over them. It includes the Chinese who though the only nuclear weapon state to ratify the IAEA additional protocol, has conveniently chosen to break every rule in the book and merrily proliferate and engage in shady nuclear commerce.
China has now joined countries like Ireland, New Zealand and Austria in holding out against the waiver and in fact could now be leading the dissent. There concerns are that this would set a dangerous precedent, which would jeopardize the long-time efforts of the international nuclear non-proliferation mechanism and also trigger a regional nuclear arms race.
Let's look at the facts. The current nuclear weapons stockpiles are:
N Korea 0-10
Of these India is a non signatory to the NPT, Pakistan is failing state and North Korea a rogue state. Israel is an undeclared nuclear power which chooses to be ambiguous in its nuclear status.
Iran and Syria have an existing nuclear programme and are on the way to developing weapons.
The NPT accept it or not is officially dead and it is indeed time that its long suffering carcass were buried.
In today's multipolar world nuclear non proliferation depends on the good offices and the self interests of the nuclear weapons countries and it was time the world woke up to this unpleasant truth.
Till such time as this happens countries like India with a squeaky clean image will have to grovel before midgets while established offenders like China and Pakistan get away scot-free.