Talks with Beijing on NSG membership on: Swaraj

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said the government is making a wholehearted effort to gain membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), adding it was still talking to China over the ‘procedural hurdles’ posed by Beijing for India’s membership.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha here, Swaraj said the government does not want to hype up the NSG issue, adding that relentless efforts to convince China would go on.

“We are continuing our efforts. If someone doesn’t agree once, doesn’t mean they’ll never agree. We are engaging with China,” she said.

The major roadblock for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) comes from China, which maintains that being a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory is a must for joining the NSG.

The minister also assured that India would never sign on the NPT.

China has maintained that more talks were needed to build a consensus on countries joining the 48-nation NSG following the United States’ push to include India in the elite group.

The countries, who oppose India’s membership, argue that its inclusion in the group would further undermine efforts to prevent proliferation and also infuriate New Delhi’s rival Pakistan.