Despite being a responsible power, why is India reluctant to join Non-Proliferation treaty? Discuss.

Published: October 14, 2017

Non-Proliferation treaty is an international agreement which focuses on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, disarmament and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. As per NPT, those countries who have manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices before January 1, 1967, are Nuclear-weapon states parties. 
India follows a policy of credible minimum deterrence based on a No-First-Use as well as non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states. However, even though India is a responsible nuclear power India is not willing to sign NPT.
The reasons are:

  1. Discriminatory Treaty
    • As per India NPT is discriminatory as it allows P5 nations to remain Nuclear weapon state. On the other hand, If a country wants to sign the NPT, that country will have to sign the agreement as a Non-Nuclear weapon state. Nuclear weapon states do not have obligation to give them up while Non-Nuclear states are not allowed to have nuclear weapons.
  2. Nuclear Deterrence
    • Another reason is India’s hostile neighborhood. Both China and Pakistan possess a Nuclear weapon. Since China and Pakistan are not bound by any obligation, therefore India can’t ignore the utility of Nuclear weapons as a deterrent.
  3. Need of Universal, non-discrimination agreement
    • India contends that for Nuclear non-proliferation there is a need for universal, non-discriminatory verification based agreement and NPT does not fulfill these conditions.

India is committed to supporting the global non-proliferation agenda, however, the agreement should be non-discriminatory and universal.

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