In a big boost to India soon after the US proclamation of support, France on Wednesday issued an appeal to all NSG members to support India's entry into the 48-member grouping ahead of the crucial meeting on Thursday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Uzbek city of Tashkent.
The French announcement comes soon after the US proclamation of support and is a big boost for India. With the US and France batting for India, pressure is mounting on Beijing to relent on New Delhi's bid for membership of the NSG.
With the United States and France batting for India, pressure is mounting on Beijing to relent on New Delhi's entry to the NSG, even as India is going all out for “immediate” membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the crucial concluding day of the Seoul plenary NSG meet on Friday. Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar — who usually travels with the Prime Minister on his official visits — instead left on Thursday night for the South Korean Capital.
Sources said it was decided that Mr. Jaishankar, as the top negotiator, would head for Seoul to answer any clarifications at the NSG plenary, should PM Modi manage a breakthrough with the Chinese leadership at Tashkent. Meanwhile, China continued to make ambivalent statements on India's bid for NSG membership amid clear indications that it was unrelenting in its opposition.
Clubbing India and Pakistan once again, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said members of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group have had three round of unofficial discussions on the membership of the two countries. China is seeking to equate India with its impeccable non-proliferation record with that of Pakistan for which it is batting.
Pakistan had on Tuesday claimed that it had successfully blocked India's bid for NSG membership, and China's clubbing of the two countries is seen as a ploy to block New Delhi. Pakistan's National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua has alleged that America's efforts to include India in the NSG was part of a “greater design” to contain China and prevent the resurgence of Russia.
“It's [part of] a greater design,” Janjua said at a seminar on 'Pakistan's case for NSA membership,” he said. Pakistan's former permanent representative at the UN in Geneva. Zamir Akram said that Pakistan was only opposed to “exclusive membership” of the NSG for India. The Dawn reported that Akram's comments follow remarks by Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj that India does not object to any country, including Pakistan, joining the NSG.