Pakistan’s Race for NSG Membership:
CSS Current Affairs
Pakistan has launched a fresh drive to gather support for its efforts to join the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) with a request to the White House this week to support its bid. Reportedly, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani held a number of meetings with senior officials in Washington, and called upon US State Department and Congressional leaders to support Islamabad’s membership to the NSG group. The fresh move by the Pakistani authorities gives an insight into the seemingly wrong set of priorities. (Css Current Affairs) Against the backdrop of a struggling economy, declining foreign export and with a large population living below the poverty line, Pakistan’s bid to join the elite group of the NSG lacks prudence. In retrospect, these efforts would be viewed as a policy aberration rather than a move with any lasting impact. These are the things that suit a nation that has made remarkable progress in other fields of life, and its social indicators present positive signs about living conditions of common citizens. Why is Pakistan competing with India in its quest to join the NSG in the wake of so many other important areas that need immediate attention of rulers? On the surface, Pakistan’s rationale looks flawed.
At a time when the social sector is in utter distress, the rate of unemployment is high and corruption is rampant, how can the government convince 48 countries about its credentials as a responsible state? Pakistan needs to give preference to improving the living standards of people instead of pursuing the membership of the NSG with an aim to undermine India, which has also applied to join the group with the backing of the US. By endorsing India for the membership of the elite group of nations dealing in nuclear technology and its control, Barack Obama has already signalled the US intention to create a deeper partnership of the world’s two largest democracies. The US is relying on India due to it being a huge consumer market and its progress in home industries. Pakistan is concerned about the deepening of relationship between India and the US, and seeks fair treatment regarding Pakistan’s plans to join the NSG. However, there are certain allegations that provide grounds to the US to resist Pakistan’s ambitions of joining the elite group of the NSG. The presence of banned outfits like the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan as well as the accusation of transfer of nuclear technology to bad actors like North Korea make Pakistan’s stance weak about its capability to become a part of the NSG.
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The US views India favourably, both as a counterweight to the rise of China, as well as because of India’s huge emerging economy as a vast consumer market with untold business opportunities in addition to being a huge buyer of weapons. A trust deficit exists between the US and Pakistan due to the alleged duality of policies of Pakistan in the past, which still causes suspicion despite a belated crackdown against militants, stated now to be irrespective of ‘good’ Taliban and ‘bad’ Taliban and their supporters.
There is no doubt that joining the NSG group has great prospects, but first of all, Pakistan needs to establish its credential as a responsible nuclear state that has put its economy on right track, and is actually making efforts for the wellbeing of its citizens.
Courtesy: Daily Times