Siddharth Varadarajan

Journalist | Writer | Analyst

Text of the final NSG waiver for India

via the Arms Control Association

The earlier iteration, i.e. Draft 2 is here.

In his analysis, the ACA’s Daryl Kimball attacks the waiver in hyperbolic terms, calling it a “non-proliferation disaster of historic proportions”. But he also says (perhaps with an eye on the opposition BJP’s idiotic rhetoric in India) that it falls short of the Government of India’s benchmark of a ‘clean and unconditional’ waiver.

I don’t agree with either of these propositions but am too sleepy to write my own analysis now as it’s midnight in Vienna. I will weigh in by tomorrow or day after.

But I think Daryl and everyone on all sides of this debate in the U.S. and India should stop making apocalyptic predictions based on worst-case scenarios (like ‘India will test’, or ‘India will become a client state’) and reflect a little about the kind of cooperative relationship India and the NSG might have with each other in the years ahead. Understanding and managing the politics within the NSG even while remaining outside and in compliance with its guidelines will be an important challenge for Indian diplomacy in the years ahead. Until the NSG makes India a member a few years from now.

28 comments on “Text of the final NSG waiver for India

  1. Satish
    September 11, 2008

    @ Siddarth Sir,I do not agree with your assessment about NSG getting rid of the consensus rule. If US does that they risk loosing control over the group in future.For example: Many countries in Europe want to sell military technology and weapons to china but, they are not doing it because of various reasons including (mainly) US pressure and US stooges in EU. Hypothetically speaking if NSG was dealing with sales of military equipment, how many of the 45 members in NSG will be favorable towards such sales to china? I’m sure at least 3/4 of NSG members will be in favor. This was not the case 10 years ago.It is highly possible that in future majority of the members in NSG may not support US as much as they are supporting today. And it is also highly possible that US will eventually loose control over the group by getting rid of the consensus rule. I think the main reason for US getting number of European countries with nothing to contribute into NSG is to strengthen its grip over the cartel. They will not give it up.The only way I see India getting into NSG is by demonstrating the thorium cycle. After demonstrating thorium cycle NSG membership is inconsequential from our point of view. It will be in NSG’s interest to get India in as a full member once we develop thorium cycle.

  2. Anonymous
    September 10, 2008

    India needs to keep its nukes for good reason. They got china and pakis to keep at bay. What reason do countries like UK and France have to keep nukes?

  3. Anonymous
    September 9, 2008

    Ya build thorium reactors and not depend on NSG ,IAEA, 123, etc..and their drama.

  4. Anonymous
    September 9, 2008

    India is a NWS and will remain so, regardless how much Daryl Kimball types cry on C-Span. To others on similar “non-prolification” lines may recomend US -Russia to sign a “peace treaty’ and give up Nukes First before uttering another word on the subject to India. India on the orher hand needs to work on Thorium cycle reactors full speed so there will be no need to depend on NSG etc..and their drama.

  5. Siddharth Varadarajan
    September 9, 2008

    @ anonymousI don’t think recognition as a nuclear weapons state (in the NPT sense) is possible or indeed relevant.India now should strive to become an NSG member because if you are committing to follow their guidelines, you certainly need a veto over how those rules change. Howver, I suspect any move to bring India in will be accompanied by getting rid of the consensus rule, perhaps in favour of 2/3rd majority decision making.

  6. Siddharth Varadarajan
    September 9, 2008

    @ j kimball I hope this doesn’t mean you’ll stop posting comments. Format change is difficult but the comments section allows for a lot of interactivity, so I urge you to come back with another, equally hilarious nom de plume.

  7. Anonymous
    September 8, 2008

    @Sid,Any thoughts on how India could be recognised as nuclear weapon state.What could Ms Rice’s statement that America would now aim to see India become a partner at NSG mean?Ofcourse, now things will depend on how we structure our agreements with atleast France and Russia, and importantly the progress we make-do we deploy reactors and build strategic reserve of the fuel recd from France and Russia?Orjust sit around. I envy the pace with which our neighbour does things.Thanks for your notes.M

  8. J Kimball
    September 8, 2008

    @Sid,You are doing a fantastic work with this blog. As more and more people are participating, the format of this blog is restricting. May be now is a good time to expand it to use forums. That will allows people to continue to contribute ideas and will keep them engazed. As you said, NSG waiver is just an enabling provision and the real work starts now.As far as using J Kimball name, I merely wanted to point out that there is a gulf of difference beween opinions of Mr Daryl Kimbal and a common man with a common sense. Out of respect to you and Mr Daryl, I will stop posting now.

  9. Anonymous
    September 8, 2008

    Ravi,Sukla Sen and it his brethren from the Chinese Puppets in India and Chinese Puppets in India (Megatraitors) are worried that their game is over. That’s the cause for their propaganda in these fora. Ironically, in their fatherland China, traitors would face … ahem… harsher treatment for their treasonous acts. To our credit, Indians allow diversity of opinion to the point of tolerating the agents of our sworn enemies.Sid,Calling India an “aberrant nuclear state” when China sits next to us as the biggest nuclear rogue in the history of mankind – is a sign of treason. For some reason India is cursed with a bunch of pro-China traitors.

  10. Sid
    September 8, 2008

    @ Ravi and anonymousPlease do not question the patriotic credentials of people like Suklal Sen and others who post comments here occasionally. They raise valid points, and our debate gets enriched as a result.Cheers.

  11. Sid
    September 8, 2008

    @ Mayurdas BholanathWe have all valued your thoughtul questions throughout these past few years and your query is no exception.My sense, however, is that the AP is not an issue. If you look at Infcirc/540 Model Additional Protocol (MAP), it clearly distinguishes between three categories of states. (1) States with comprehensive safeguards agrements, whose AP must include all elements of the MAP, (2) Nuclear weapon states of the NPT, whose AP must include those elements these states wish to incorporate to improve safeguards efficiency, and (3) Other states, who whose AP is to be based on 540 (but which need not include all elements of it). In other words, states in category 2 and 3 get to cherry pick from 540 whatever they want. This is exactly what the Indians will do. The model we are looking at are the APs of the five NWSs.

  12. Sid
    September 8, 2008

    @ d kimballThis is the subject for a longer, more reflective piece but suffice it to say that we should try and find common ground for action between the practical ideas in the Indian working paper, the strategically significant statement by the four elder statesmen of American hegemony on the irrelevance of nukes, and the passion of people in countries like Japan to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

  13. Sid
    September 8, 2008

    @ J KimballYou’ve provided some much needed mirth here and your comments are always welcome. But may I humbly suggest a name change, as the joke has gone on too long!Thanks for your understanding.

  14. Sid
    September 8, 2008

    @ Fakhri1. The EAM’s statement and the reference to it does nothing to affect India’s legal “right” to test.2. The NSG waiver allows reprocessing technology transfers subject to the usual proviso applicable for any recipient state that suppliers exercise restraint.3. It is clean and unconditional insofar there is no automaticity of termination in the event of controversy over India abiding by its commitments.4. There is nothing in the waiver to feel unduly worried about. But the waiver is an enabling provision. Now it is up to the kind of agreements you sign with individual suppliers.

  15. Anonymous
    September 8, 2008

    Ravi, well said on Sukla…freedom and free to defend, are fundamental rights of any country.

  16. Ravi
    September 8, 2008

    Sukla,Tell you what, surrender your passport and please do emigrate to your “Father nation” China, where you can applaud its non hegemonic treatment of the Tibetans, the Xuighurs and others. Meanwhile spare us your apparatchik nonsense about fissile this and nuclear weaponisation that. As an Indian citizen, I am bloody well glad that India has nuclear weapons and that my country can defend itself (And ergo, me) from nuclear attack, instead of relying on the prodigious windpower (from both frontal and rear orifices) that communist fellow travellers like you generate.Regards!!!

  17. Mayurdas Bholanath
    September 8, 2008

    <>Quote (@ Siddarth varadarajan)But I think Daryl and everyone on all sides of this debate in the U.S. and India <>should stop making apocalyptic predictions based on worst-case scenarios<> (like ‘India will test’, or ‘India will become a client state’) <>and reflect a little<> about the kind of cooperative relationship India and the NSG might have with each other in the years ahead. Understanding and managing the politics within the NSG even while remaining outside and in compliance with its guidelines will be an important challenge for Indian diplomacy in the years ahead. Until the NSG makes India a member a few years from now.Unqoute<><>Very powerful words indeed.<> However, as one who has been opposed to this deal since July 18, 2005 (and continue to do so even as of today) based on my understanding of what is good and necessary for the technological strength of our country in the long-term, may I say the following: Going in the reverse order of time:1. The recent India-IAEA Agreement text (GOV/2008/30 dated 9 July 2008) refers, in paragraphs 6, 28, 36, 38 and 100, to a “Subsidiary Agreement” (euphemism for “Additional Protocol”?) which is required to be concluded yet.2. Article 10.2 of The 123 text says:<>Quote Taking into account Article 5.6 of this Agreement, India agrees that nuclear material and equipment transferred to India by the United States of America pursuant to this Agreement and any nuclear material used in or produced through the use of nuclear material, non-nuclear material, equipment or components so transferred shall be subject to safeguards in perpetuity in accordance with the India-specific Safeguards Agreement between India and the IAEA [identifying data] and an Additional Protocol, when in force. Unquote<>{By the way, I must confess to a great degree of inability to parse long sentences in legalese English [or in any other language for that matter 🙂 ]. Does the clause “when in force” apply only to the Additional Protocol or even to the India-Specific safeguards Agreement?}3. And finally, as per the Hyde [Sec 110 (1)], the Additional Protocol needs to adhere to INFCIRC 540 the model, applicable to the Non-Nuclear Weapons States amongst the NPT signatories. From the foregoing, India still needs to go through some more negotiations. I feel that as of now, the pernicious prescriptions pertaining to pursuit in perpetuity have only been postponed, to be later packed into the Additional Protocol / Subsidiary Agreement.It is still to be seen whether France, Russia, Germany and others in the NSG will actually get into nuclear sales business with India in a hurry before the US Congress has a chance to approve / reject the Hyde-ridden 123, or what their new terms might be. The enormous pressure exerted by the US to force the “consensus” at the NSG would have to be repaid by India sooner or later, at a high cost to indigenous technology.

  18. Anonymous
    September 7, 2008

    My other brother Daryl doth protest too much

  19. Anonymous
    September 7, 2008

    I appreciate Daryl’s sincerity related to universal non-proliferation but I hope his next are of activism will be the NIF and LMJ based stockpile stewardship programs of US and France

  20. fakhri
    September 7, 2008

    Dear Mr. Siddharth,A lay man’s question…The foreign ministers commitment for unilateral moratorium has been included in the text…Is it end of the road for nuclear testing..? or as I understand it is now a situation of choosing between nuclear trade and nuclear test..Also what abt reproccessing technology.. theres no mention of it… are we getting it or not..From the looks of it the waiver dont not look clean and uncondtional.. i dont know whether to rejoice abt it or not..Is this worth the hype.. regards

  21. Shivanand Kanavi
    September 7, 2008

    DK,Your commitment to non-proliferation is admirable. And your declaration that your opposition to Indo-US deal is not based on liking or disliking India but on larger global concerns would also be acceptable at its face value, however a quick analysis of your website did not yield manypieces hyperbolic or sober about disarmament of P-5 and especially leadership to be provided by US in that respect as the only country to have actually dropped the bombs and carried out several hundred tests. Hopefully you would provide some statistics to prove me wrong.

  22. Sukla Sen
    September 7, 2008

    The deal is meant to reward an aberrant state – a non-signatory to the NPT, India, which has steadfastly gone ahead with itsnuclear weaponisation programme in defiance of world opinion, obstinately refused just not to disarm but also to give any binding commitment not to carry outany further tests or even capping its rate of fissile material production, let alone freeze it altogether.All because it has been cherrypicked by the Bush-ledUS for this special favour in pursuance of its project for global domination.So the deal is a frontal assault on the non-proliferation order and thereby the prospects of global nuclear disarmament.It is not an accident of history that the global peace movement opposes the deal. And, even within the NSG, the states known for their support for global nucleardisarmament opposed it with varying degrees of intensity while under tremendous pressure from itsbackers – the US, and India, in particular.The deal has got to be opposed tooth and nail on this ground alone. Though there are many others.France and Russia have little inhibition against India testing in future. Even in May 98, they did not join the US in imposing sanctions on India. There is noreason to expect that they’d do any differently in future unless obligated to do so.The NSG waiver does not contain much of such possibility.Now calling off trade with India by the NSG has to be a consensual decision. That means each one has veto.It’d be something like passing a censure motion in the UNSC against Israel, even without India becoming a member of the NSG.India’s nuclear weapons programme is now blessed with formal recognition.All these go to legitimise the craze of newer players to acquire the Bomb, and the diabolical game of the “old” ones to retain and upgrade.As regards the US domination over India, India does not ipso facto become a vassal state of theUS just because of the deal.It is quite likely that in commercial terms Russia andFrance would be the immediate, and greater, beneficiaries.But the deal would definitely bring India closer to the US. And, most likely, induce it to collaborate with and reinforce the US in a number of ways.More than that, India’s emergence as a much larger regional hegemonic power, as per the US calculations, would help to counterbalance China, and perhaps Russia and Iran.That would free up the US to concentrate its forces in higher priority areas in furtherance of its strategic goal of global dominance. That’s pretty dangerous.The radically boosted emphasis on nuclear power through mega projects calling for huge upfrontinvestments would also further distort India’s economic policies and the development model – givingit a much sharper anti-people and anti-ecology edge.This is over and above the tremendous threat that nuclear power inheres and encapsulates.But popular resistance, both nationally and globally, would just not evaporate because of this undoubtedly significant setback caused through deployment ofblatantly coercive and muscular diplomacy. The passage of the deal, like Iraq war, has got to be squarely condemned just on this count alone.The fight nevertheless goes on. Despite the setback.Even if victory is not assured.The human spirit cannot be suppressed so easily.As regards the means employed, here is an approving comment from the Times of India:“Not that Uncle Sam was delicate in the pursuit of its objective. In fact, the word out of Vienna is that US strong-arm tactics leftplenty of bruised feelings. “For the first time in my experience of international diplomatic negotiations, a consensus decision was followed by complete silence inthe room. No clapping, nothing,” one European diplomat complained to Reuters.”[Ref.: Sen

  23. Anonymous
    September 7, 2008

    Siddarth,Congratulations on a fantastic coverage and reporting not only on the NSG but the entire India-US nuclear deal.Your despatches both on this blog as well as in The Hindu has put some faith back in the newspaper which I was beginning to loose after reading it for 2 decades now. And thanks to The Hoot site for pointing out this blog and some differing positions within the newspaper which made me an avid reader of this blog.Fantastic job and as you say, you deserve a bit of rest before starting all over again!Ram

  24. Anonymous
    September 7, 2008

    The idea that this NSG clearance is “discriminatory” is preposterous.1. That China can test nukes, proliferate bomb designs to Pakistan and still join the NSG unconditionally is discrimination2. That 5 countries got to keep their bombs, grow their arsenal and lecture others to not have bombs is discriminatory3. That Nazi symapthizing Austria and a country that has no business being in a nuclear supplier body such as New Zealand can accept China as a peer but posture when it comes to India is discriminatory and racist to boot.This NSG clearance is just. Good riddance to a discriminatory and racist order.Guys who cannot accept India sitting on the big table can go the way of the KKK.

  25. Vishwesh
    September 7, 2008

    Daryl,Please lay out the criteria that you would consider falling under “actual performance on nonproliferation”.I’d like to know if that would include, for instance:1. NWS not supplying nuclear weapons to non NPT states (China did this and nothing happened)2. NWS treating their Article VI commitments like fat people treating their doctor’s orders to lose weight.3. NSG members with advanced nuclear weapons refusing to forswear testing, as China and US do.I’m just curious as to what your criteria are. For me however, if there are already exceptions to rules, anyone who argues that another exception would cause the skies to fall <>is<> being hyperbolic.regardsThank you

  26. Daryl G. Kimball
    September 7, 2008

    Siddarth:We are all sleepy and should give this debate a bit of rest.But one thing that needs to be made clear to your readers is that the opposition to the deal from many quarters here in the United States and elsewhere in the world is not driven by a dislike or like for any one country. That’s preposterous.The criticism is motivated by strong desire to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons, which are a threat to international peace and security no matter who owns or possesses them. A good guys and bad guys approach to nuclear policy is a dangerous and discriminatory thing.How much of an impact this will have on the long-running effort to achieve disarmament and contain proliferation can only be measured in the years ahead. I can only hope that my assessment is wrong and will be working to make that the case. That’s why I point out in my analysis what the practical effect and practice of the waiver and other laws and policies will likely be.Siddarth, if you think I am being hyperbolic, I would invite you to make a case for why and how India’s and other states’ actual performance on nonproliferation would improve or even simply remain the same in the wake of this NSG waiver and editorialize for what Indian and other leaders should do to make that a reality and not simply a far off promise.Travel home safely,DK

  27. J Kimball
    September 7, 2008

    I would also like to add that – India must set an example of how to conduct civil nuclear energy operations – by the book! It must not provide any opportunity to any NSG memeber that they made wrong choice..During the negotiations, lot of pressure was applied by India and friendly countries on the nations who objected. This pressure was applied on India’s behalf. India must go ahead and repair/soothe these relations and provide a chance to them to say they made right decision. The nations that objected, did it so for what they believed in and not because enemity towards India. India should profoundly thank them.

  28. J Kimball
    September 7, 2008

    Daryl Kimball keeps attacking (as you hyperbolic terms) any thing that helps India. He just can not control his (physical) arms!This Kimball fully support this deal in parabolic and eliptic terms!!

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This entry was posted on September 7, 2008 by in Nuclear Issues.



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