(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 14 , 2008
PB STATEMENT ON NSG WAIVER
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued the following statement on September 7, 2008.
THE NSG waiver opening the door to nuclear trade for India after a three-day long meeting is neither clean nor unconditional and reflects the continuous concessions that India has made on this issue. Starting from the joint statement of July 18, 2005, India has given in steadily to US pressure, starting with the 123 Agreement, the IAEA safeguard and now finally the NSG.
The text of the waiver has converted the voluntary moratorium on testing into a multilateral commitment. India has now agreed that any fuel supply agreement will be subject to periodic NSG review and subject to India's moratorium on testing. While India clearly does not have fuel supply assurances as claimed by the government, the Safeguards on India's nuclear facilities will be in perpetuity. The restrictions on Enrichment and Reprocessing technologies will in effect continue, as prescribed in the Hyde Act, Indian government's statements to the contrary notwithstanding. The Hyde Act conditions will continue to bind India and its civilian nuclear program.
The Para 3 of the waiver text makes it clear that the Separation Plan outlined in July 18, 2005 and the foreign minister's statement of September 5, form the basis of the waiver. All bilateral agreements including the 123 Agreement are also a part of the para 3. The full implications of the 123 Agreement, which the Indian government had hidden from the people, are now public after the State Department statement to the US Congress have been released by Berman, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Congress. It is clear from para 3 that all other governments will now align with the 123 Agreement and India will not get any better terms from other countries supplying fuel or reactors.
With the foreign minister's statement of September 5, India has now committed itself to aligning with international efforts to "limit the spread of ENR (enrichment and reprocessing) equipment or technologies to states who do not have them", an obvious reference to Iran and committing India to join the US efforts to deny Iran the fuel cycle. Joining US efforts on Iran is one of the conditions of the Hyde Act. With the September 5 statement, India is now fully a party to the non-proliferation regime, which it has always held to be discriminatory and therefore unstable. Like all other nuclear weapon states India will henceforth pay only lip service to the disarmament agenda.
On Enrichment and Reprocessing, the reference to NSG Guidelines paras 6&7 in para 3 a) makes clear that the restrictions on transfer of such technologies will continue. The National Statements of various countries including the assurances given by the US in NSG that it is not contemplating such transfers reinforces the paras 6&7 of the Guidelines. In addition, the reference to GOV/1621 in the waiver para 2 b) also ensures that India cannot withdraw its facilities from safeguards. It might be noted that adherence by India to GOV/1621 of IAEA is also a part of the Hyde Act.
Though India is not part of the NSG it has also agreed to an open-ended commitment that it will abide by all NSG guidelines including future changes irrespective of what these changes might be. Though the NSG chairman may confer with India (the Waiver states "the chair is requested to consult with India) on changes to the guidelines, India cannot participate in the NSG decision-making. It may be noted that the Hyde Act in Sec. 104 (b) (6) requires commitment of unilateral adherence to NSG guidelines as part of the presidential determination before the 123 Agreement is approved.
Similarly India has also agreed to abide by an Additional Protocol with the IAEA that is yet to be even finalised, let alone signed, as part of the basis for the waiver.
As in the Hyde Act Presidential review of India's actions, the NSG will also closely monitor and review all nuclear transactions by regular exchange of information on all nuclear transfers with India. Further every plenary of the NSG will be an occasion for a full exchange of information regarding nuclear transfers (para 3c of the waiver text).
By Para 3e of the waiver text any NSG member may choose to call for consultations regarding the implementation of the terms of the waiver if they feel that occasion has arisen to do so.
It is clear that the terms of the NSG waiver afford every opportunity for any NSG country (through consultations under Para 16 of the NSG guidelines) to block separate deals that India may contemplate with countries like France or Russia that offer more advantageous terms on issues like cooperation in uranium enrichment and reprocessing.
As the NSG is an opaque body, one is not aware of what additional terms India might have agreed to. Given its track record for deliberate misinformation, as seen in the 123 Agreement, this is cause for concern. For example, what are the implications of the "auxiliary measures" that countries such as Austria have been referring to in the NSG? Are they additional NSG guidelines that are being framed keeping India in mind? It must be kept in mind that NSG is only a nuclear cartel and unlike international agreements, can change its waiver terms unilaterally.
The Hyde Act watered down many of the initial commitments in the 2005 Manmohan Singh-Bush Statement. The passage of the NSG waiver on the current terms is designed to make India adhere more firmly to the terms and conditions of the Hyde Act.