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OPINION                                                                   MAY 19, 2023  |    The Indian Eye 13

        ticipated in the negotiations process
        of the treaty. It had also proposed its
        own resolution for the construction
        of the treaty but the international
        body opted for the Irish resolution.
            In those years, its insistence was
        on stemming both vertical prolifera-
        tion (qualitative development of nu-
        clear weapons by the nuclear weapons
        countries) and horizontal prolifera-
        tion (the spread of nuclear weapons
        beyond  the  five  nuclear  weapons
        states  recognised  by  the  NPT).  By
        the  beginning  of  the  21st  century,
        India  started  accepting  the  idea  of
        non-proliferation. Over the years, it
        adopted not only non-proliferation
        norms but also different non-pro-
        liferation  tools  and  mechanisms.
            After the 1998 nuclear tests, the
        phase of integration with the nucle-
        ar  order  and  the non-proliferation
        regime  started.  India  began  the
        journey from estrangement to en-
        gagement and a positive and vibrant   The defining moment of India’s relationship with the non-proliferation order came with the 2005 India–United States Civil Nuclear Energy
        relationship  with  the  regime.  India
        harmonised  its  export  control  sys-                       Initiative, popularly known as the Indo-US nuclear deal (File photo)
        tem with the guidelines of the NSG
        and the Missile Technology Control    The  NSG’s  guidelines  became   need to give nuclear threats against   not signing the NPT, it supports the
        Regime  (MTCR).  Even  if  India  is   the focus. In 2008, the guidelines of   Pakistan which is conventionally in-  stabilising  role  of  the  treaty.  It  has
        waiting for the NSG membership, it   the Group had clean exemptions for   ferior to India. However, India does   made it quite clear that it does not
        joined the MTCR.                  India. The divided Western world fi-  not do such things even against Chi-  want to rock it. The treaty may thrive
                                          nally  adapted  the  regime.  The  new   na, which is perceived conventionally   or fall on the basis of its own mer-
        The defining moment of India’s    collaboration  between  the  West,   superior to it. It is a different issue   its  and  demerits.  Similarly,  despite
                                          and countries like Japan with India
                                                                            that in recent years, many Indian and
                                                                                                              maintaining a good friendship with
        relationship with the non-pro-    started  on  various  nuclear  issues.   Western analysts have come out with   Iran, it advises it to comply with the
        liferation order came with the    The  Western  nuclear  noise  became   their writings busting the Chinese   treaty it has signed.
                                          soothing for India. The entire West-  conventional superiority myth vis-à-  Today,  nuclear  India  is  com-
        2005 India–United States Civil  ern bloc has pushed India’s case for   vis India.                     memorating  its  25th  anniversary.
                                                                                Doomsayers maintained that
        Nuclear Energy Initiative, popu-  membership of the NSG.            the  two  South  Asian  countries  had   The struggle for the nomenclature—
                                                                                                              de facto or dejure/nuclear weapon or
                                              Today, unlike Pakistan and Chi-
        larly known as the Indo-US nu-    na, India has gained legitimacy as a   fought the wars in the past and the   non-nuclear  weapon  state,  has  dis-
        clear deal. It gave an opportuni-  responsible nuclear weapon country   absence of redlines between the two   appeared. India is a nuclear weapon
                                          in the comity of nations. The prolif-  countries  may  lead  the  war-prone   country that possesses robust nuclear
        ty for India to mainstream itself  eration network-hidden and mani-  countries to fight another war in the   deterrence  but  still  believes  that  a
        with the non-proliferation re-    fest, sullied the image of India’s two   nuclear  mode.  This  myth  was  bust-  world without nuclear weapons is a
                                          nuclear  neighbours.  Despite  all  the   ed  soon.  India  and  Pakistan  fought   safe  place.  It  supports  genuine  and
        gime. The action saw resistance  independent or combined moves of   a war in Kargil in 1999. Needless to   serious  nuclear  disarmament  initia-
        within India as also from the     China and Pakistan, the NSG guide-  say, the war was fought without any   tives, not arms control screening nu-
                                          lines, leave alone the membership of   nuclear exchange.            clear  disarmament.  The  synergised
        West. In India, a section of the  the regime, have not been stirred for   This war also busted the long-  Shanti (peace) and Shakti (strength)
        policy community opposed the      Pakistan.  As a result, it is still relying   held myth that war between two   mantra of India is supporting the
                                          on the black or grey market for its nu-  nuclear  weapons  countries  would   contemporary global nuclear order.
        deal on the grounds of national  clear commerce. China, blatantly, as-  compulsorily  be  nuclear  in  nature.
        security and strategic autonomy.  sists Pakistan in violating the nuclear   In a way, nuclearisation of India and   Dr Rajiv Nayan is Senior Research
                                          laws and norms to which it is a party.  to an extent, of Pakistan, rewrote old   Associate at the Manohar Parrikar
                                              India’s  track  record  as  a  re-  nuclear  theology.  It  should  have  si-  Institute for Defence Studies and Anal-
            In the West, the opposition
        came mainly from the non-prolifera-  sponsible nuclear weapon country is   lenced the theoreticians of a nuclear   yses, New Delhi.
                                          reflected in its policy of nuclear re-
                                                                            holocaust in South Asia but after a
        tion community, which was reluctant   straint. This policy, in turn, is based   few more years, the irrational imag-  Views expressed are of the author and
        to accept an NPT-defined non-nucle-  not  only  on  its  nuclear  doctrine  of   ination  kept  coming.  For  this  kind   do not necessarily reflect the views of
        ar  weapons  country  possessing  nu-  credible  nuclear  deterrence  and  no   of  occasional  and  sporadic  illusion,   the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or of the
        clear weapons getting mainstreamed   first  use  (NFU)  but  also  reflects  in   Pakistan’s  nuclear  policy  is  greatly   Government of India.
        with the non-proliferation order. The   exercising control during border cri-  responsible.              This article first appeared in the
        treaty remained intact but the rules,   ses. Unlike Pakistan, India has never   India has become a source and   Comments section of the website (www.
        which had evolved over the years to   indulged in sabre-rattling, whether   supporter of global nuclear stability. of Manohar Parrikar Institute
        support the treaty, were adjusted to   against China or Pakistan.   It adhered to many of the nuclear ini-  for Defense Studies and Analyses, New
        make way for India.
                                              Some may argue that it does not   tiatives it had opposed once. Despite   Delhi on May 11, 2023

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