Australia must Stop Exporting URANIUM to India – STOP THE THREAT OF A NUCLEAR WAR.

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India is one of the four nations that have failed to sign the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Over the years, Australia has always taken a strong stance against exporting uranium or having any form of uranium deals with any state that has refused to sign the NPT. However in 2014, moving away from its established position Australia signed a deal to begin Uranium exportation to India.

A number of concerns were raised at the time when the deal was made that the uranium exported to India could be used for its nuclear weapons program. The key concerns were:

·         This deal can enable India to use the uranium for nuclear proliferation or at least aid with the proliferation of its nuclear stockpile.

·         It is very likely that Australian uranium will also enable India to free up their existing stockpiles, so as to use them for their nuclear weapons program.

·         Arms control investigators have long identified the subcontinent as one of the world’s likeliest nuclear flash points and Australia shouldn’t expose itself as a party in a nuclear conflict.

Some of these concerns have resurfaced in the aftermath of the recent actions undertaken by the nationalist Indian Government. Reports of religious-based hate-crime cases have spiked in India since the pro-Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, this has also coincided with India’s increasingly confrontational behavior towards its neighbors as evident by the 2015 Nepal blockade, killings by Indian Border Security Force on Bangladesh border and the 2017 China India border standoff. And these examples don’t capture the countless other armed skirmishes and other incidents that have become a regular occurrence under Modis leadership.

In addition to India’s recent confrontation with its other neighbors, India and Pakistan have gone to war four times, and have also had several small-scale standoffs since the partition in 1947.

Of the numerous areas of global tension, arguably the most perilous is that between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan edged towards all-out war few weeks ago over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir. The recent events in Kashmir have made the situation even more dangerous. The reason is straightforward: India and Pakistan are in a long-running and incendiary dispute, they are both nuclear powers, and crossing a confrontational threshold could ignite a nuclear war between them. Indeed,. Indian fighter plane crossed line of control and entered Pakistan, later the rival nuclear power claimed to have shot down an Indian fighter jet and paraded a captured Indian pilot on TV and later released him as a peace gesture. Both countries came to the edge of war, whole air filed was close for commercial flights, border villages were vacated due to the tension, making it the global flash point for potential nuclear war. 

Given India’s recent confrontation behavior towards it neighbors, Australia should stop uranium support to India immediately as there are various risks involved on Australia’s part, which in turn, can significantly hamper their geopolitical reputation and affect their bilateral relationships with other nations — potentially leading to instability in South Asia.

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