India’s Inclusion in MTCR, Struggle for Entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and Pakistan’s Long-Term Interests
The Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) generated a poll to assess public opinion regarding the prospective of impact India’s entry into MTCR, and push for entry into the NSG would have on Pakistan’s long-term interests, which are closely related to Indian defense initiatives. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), established in 1987, is a multilateral export control regime. It is an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countries to prevent the proliferation of any technology related to weapons of mass destruction including missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), capable of carrying a payload of over 500 kg for over 300 km.As of 27th June 2016, India is a full member of the MTCR.
Currently India is also engaged in an aggressive diplomacy to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), another pillar of the international nuclear regime.
The NSG, founded in response to the Indiannuclear test in May 1974, is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.As of 2016 the NSG has 48 members.
According to the poll results, approximately 56.2% of respondents think that India’s bid for entry into MTCR and NSG (if they were successful) would cause instability in this volatile region and set a ‘wrong’ precedence for country-based exceptionalism. Only 14.2% of the respondents did not believe that Indian membership of these regimes would damage Pakistan’s long-term security interests. While29.6% opined that they remained unsure of the consequences.
The region of South Asia has been marred with security concerns for a very long time. The historic rivalry and security reservations between India and Pakistan perpetually exacerbate this insecurity. If India is allowed to join MTCR (which it already has) and ultimately the NSG, whilst ignoring Pakistan’s reservations and preventing its inclusion, it may lead to a great strategic imbalance and fuel instability in the region as both the MTCR and NSG provide their member countries with access to trade of missile and nuclear technology for both civil and military purposes. As a result of access to the technology, a spike in both the quality and quantity of military weapons may be expected. Entry into the above-mentioned cartels as a non-signatory of the NPT only further embeds Indian exceptionalism;such a step would have far-reaching effects, both regionally and globally.
 “History.” Nuclear Suppliers Group. Accessed June 29, 2016. http://www.nuclearsuppliersgroup.org/en/history1.
 “About the NSG.” Nuclear Suppliers Group. Accessed June 29, 2016. http://www.nuclearsuppliersgroup.org/en/about-us.
 “Introduction.” The Missile Technology Control Regime. Accessed June 29, 2016. http://www.mtr.info/english/index/html.