6 Sep :Forty-five nuclear supplier states on Saturday finally granted a waiver to India as the group approved a US proposal to drop a ban on trade with India, advancing a US-Indian Nuclear deal.
The crucial waiver will enable India to carry out nuclear commerce and ends the 34 years of isolation enforced in the wake of the 1974 Pokharan nuclear tests.
The revised draft presented at the meeting has undergone some changes to address concerns of few countries.
The decision followed a tense debate over conditions for the move demanded by NSG members to minimise any damage to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which India has not joined.
One hurdle remains before the US-India deal can take force i.e. ratification by the US Congress.It must act before adjourning in late September for elections or the deal could be left to an uncertain fate under a new US administration.
A revised draft was presented to address concerns of few countries.Originally the discussions were to conclude on the second day on Friday but reports said last night the Chinese were unhappy over the draft and joined the ‘hold out’ countries Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland and Ireland demanding further changes in the draft.
The marathon deliberations on the second day saw diplomats and officials burn the midnight oil to hammer out a consensus that is needed to take the Indo-US nuclear deal forward after facing last minute hurdles.
The sceptic countries are keen that the draft waiver should make a reference to the consequences that could follow in the event of India conducting a nuclear test.
The NSG functions on the principle of consensus in decisions that it takes.However, US acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control John Rood told reporters at the end of the second day of discussions that "We are pleased with the significant progress made throughout the day.
India released a very significant statement with regard to its non-proliferation commitments.Rood said Mukherjee’s statement made substantive positive impact on the governments of the NSG that sincerely facilitated the progress that they achieved on Friday.
He said the US remained committed to reaching a consensus at the 45-member NSG to allow for the trade in civilian nuclear area.
"It is an important matter, a serious subject that has been given a very serious discussion by our colleagues. I remain optimistic that we can achieve our objective," he added.
The ‘hold out’ countries were said to be insisting on a set of conditions if India conducted an atomic test.These included termination of trade, stoppage of transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology and yearly review of the agreement.
India, however, is opposed to any conditionalities being put for grant of waiver and would not not countenance any prescription that would take away its sovereign right to test a weapon.
NSG rules prohibit nuclear commerce with India since it refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treat and the comprehensive test ban treaty. DDINEWS