China is on the verge of unveiling a nuclear deal with Pakistan that will, in effect, be “cocking a snook” at the world as it will be outside the purview of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a noted security expert said on Monday.
After the exception the NSG accorded to India in 2008 to enable the implementation of its civilian nuclear pact with the US, Pakistan had sought a similar deal from Washington and after having been turned down, “it now appears that China will soon announce its deal with Pakistan to export two nuclear reactors”, Commodore (retd) C. Uday Bhaskar, director of think tank National Maritime Foundation (NMF), said.
“One can infer that this is the equivalent of China announcing its own autonomy in the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) domain and that the US is no longer the determining factor in matters nuclear,” Bhaskar contended.
“In effect, this would mean that China is cocking a snook at the NSG, the US and the rest of the world,” he added.
Tracing Pakistan’s missile and nuclear acquisitions and the upcoming deal with China, he said these had “many grave implications” for the region – and particularly India.
“Tracking Pakistan’s nuclear acquisitions, it is evident that Pakistan, which began with an enriched uranium weapon, is now moving toward the plutonium option. This switch has many grave implications for the region – and India in particular.
“This is primarily due to the distinctive status Pakistan has apropos its nuclear weapon:”China is cognisant of this pattern and has yet chosen to continue its support to Pakistan’s nuclear programme,” Bhaskar contended.
In this context, he noted that though the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) had come into being in 1970, “concurrently, the world spawned a very complex nuclear eco-system often shrouded and deliberately muddied, with a disconnect between rhetoric and reality. States, state representatives and opaque activities led to selective proliferation and spread”