The Nuclear Suppliers Group should impose more 'non-proliferation conditions', including signing of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, if it decides to grant a waiver to India for resuming civil nuclear commerce, a senior Democratic lawmaker has said.
Acceptance of the draft waiver in its current form could fuel a nuclear arms race in the Asian subcontinent, Edward J Markey, a critic of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal said, as the 45-member grouping yesterday held discussions over the matter as part of a two-day meet in Vienna.
'When every single member country of the NSG has signed the CTBT, why should India get a free pass,' he said in a statement.
'Pakistan has warned that carving out a huge exemption for India increases the risk of a nuclear arms race in the subcontinent, why should we allow India to vastly increase its nuclear weapons programme?
'As the end of his term nears, President Bush seeks to grant India a proliferation pardon, excusing its past violations of arms control norms,' he said.
Markey, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the founder and co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, has frequently criticised the Bush administration for proceeding with the nuclear agreement.
'The US on Thursday delivered to the NSG a draft rule-change for India that undermines the entire international framework to limit spread of nuclear weapons. Bush's proposal contains no non-proliferation controls whatsoever,' he said.
'Since NSG can only change its rules by consensus, every member has veto power over this disastrous attempt. If these countries do not demand real non-proliferation conditions on the proposed nuclear agreement with India, the NSG may as well be voting itself out of existence,' he said.