According to Hibbs, in the view of some NSG participants and senior Indian diplomats, China's opposition to Indian membership was founded upon its Geo Strategic rivalry with India

WASHINGTON: A US expert has sought reorganisation in the NSG to maintain its effectiveness and credibility amidst the evolving global nuclear trade and a stalemate among the grouping's members over the entry of new participants like India and Pakistan.

"A redesign of the regime may also be desirable or necessary should increasingly more states become suppliers and seek to participate in the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group)," Mark Hibbs a senior fellow on Nuclear Policy Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a research paper.

Ultimately in the longer term, "a thorough going reorganisation of the NSG and the nuclear trade regime may have to be considered, especially if global nuclear trade continues to evolve away from simple point-to-point commercial actions and instead toward transactions that involve multiple participants and transit destinations, and involve complex partnerships, the research paper said.

Today's nuclear trade regime is very different from that which prevailed before the 1990s, Hibbs said.

The NSG remains bound by informal and consensus rule- making but it now has 48 members and is beset with the challenge of including future participants that have advanced and complex industrial nuclear fuel cycle industries and nuclear weapons but no legacy of commitment to non proliferation or to effective nuclear export controls, he wrote.

Two such potential candidates, India and Pakistan, are adversaries and have strategic relationships with powerful NSG members: India is rapidly developing close ties with the US and its allies in the Asia-Pacific region; Pakistan has an increasingly firm "all-weather" alliance with China, he noted.

While China has been opposing India's NSG membership, separately, both Russia and China have forged bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with scores of countries with the aim of advancing the exports of nuclear equipment by Russian and Chinese nuclear state-owned enterprises to these destinations.

Meanwhile, nuclear industry firms in North America, Europe, and Japan suffered life-threatening political and financial crisis.

"These developments raise the question of whether in the coming years the effectiveness and credibility of the NSG and the nuclear trade regime will, to an unprecedented degree, be increasingly challenged by the high national security politics and strategic ambitions of its participating governments," Hibbs wrote.

According to Hibbs, in the view of some NSG participants and senior Indian diplomats, China's opposition to Indian membership was founded upon its Geo Strategic rivalry with India.

Whatever the benefits of Indian membership would be to the NSG--led off by including a country with sensitive fuel cycle nuclear activities and nuclear weapons--to China the downsides included consideration that.

As one participant explained, "membership in the NSG would be put at the top of India's curriculum vita" to advance New Delhi's quest for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, a step that Beijing thus far opposes.

"China's calculus on Indian NSG membership may also include India's designs to become a serious competitor to China as an exporter of nuclear power plant systems and equipment, since India's reasons for wanting NSG membership include the expectation that participation would facilitate India's involvement in the global nuclear power industry supply chain," Hibbs said.

He said that during the last two decades, the NSG's consideration of its future relationship with India served most often as the immediate catalyst for major supplier states' Geo Strategic behaviour and decision-making.