ISLAMABAD: Following the deadlock over entry of states – which are not members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – into the Nuclear Suppliers Group at the last plenary session of the nuclear cartel, some of its members are now looking for admission criteria that can achieve consensus. “The debate (on expansion of the NSG) is moving towards ‘what is going to be the criteria that can be accepted by consensus’ at the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” said Zamir Akram, the former permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva. He was speaking at a roundtable discussion on ‘Indo-US Nuclear Deal: Politics of NSG and its Implications for Pakistan’ at the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), an Islamabad-based think tank. Akram said the NSG was divided between Chinese position that criteria for new members is already defined and requires the aspirant to be a NPT signatory; and the US stance that India being a like-minded country deserves to be included in the group. Between these two positions, there are countries that are seeking criteria other than ‘NPT consideration’ for accommodating India, he added. The plenary session of the NSG in Seoul in June failed to achieve consensus on India’s admission for being a non-NPT country. Seoul communique had said that the NSG members deliberated on “technical, legal and political aspects of the participation of non-NPT states in the NSG and decided to continue its discussion”. Ambassador Rafael Grossi was designated as the “facilitator of the NSG chairperson” for consultations with the member states on the issue. The US, which is having defence and nuclear cooperation deals with India, has been the main force behind Delhi’s NSG bid. Akram said that Indo-US nuclear deal and the subsequent NSG waiver for India had affected the region in terms of derailing the India-Pakistan dialogue on nuclear issues; destabilising regional security; and undermining the global non-proliferation regime. “The US acted irresponsibly without considering the long term impact of their policies on the region,” he added. Speaking on this occasion, Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Director Zahir Kazmi cautioned the US against supporting just India’s entry into the NSG. “If the US continually pushes for India’s exclusive entry into the NSG, the bilateral relations with Pakistan would not be ‘business as usual’. People of Pakistan would not accept such a discrimination,” he said. Pakistani position has been that it should either be a simultaneous entry for both India and Pakistan or none of them. Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that India’s alone entry into NSG would put back Pakistani efforts for developing its infrastructure and industry by decades, besides having serious consequences for national security and economic and industrial development. He observed that the world in its obsession for India should not forget that India was one of the worst proliferators. He urged the government to proactively continue diplomatic engagement with the NSG members over the issue of admission of non-NPT states.