Canada arms India, destabilizes fragile regional peace


The Indian Subcontinent is one of the most dangerous regions of the planet. India got independence in the year 1947, and it was divided into India and Pakistan. Since then, the relationship between the two countries has not been very cordial. These Nuclear Armed neighbours have already fought three wars and also pursued an arms race. Russia (erstwhile Soviet Union), the US, China and other developed countries have sold arms to both of these countries.

At the same time, these countries have also helped, although unwillingly, in maintaining a balance of power in the region. With the decision of the Harper Administration to allow civil nuclear trade with India, could destabilize regional peace.

The decision of allowing Canadian firms to export nuclear reactors and uranium to India will end the penalty which was imposed by Canada in the year 1976. In an interview to the Montreal Gazette, Steven Harper, during his visit to India, has said,

"Being able to resolve these issues and move forward is, we believe, a really important economic opportunity for an important Canadian industry, part of the energy industry that should pay dividends in terms of jobs and growth for Canadians down the road,"

The biggest concern of this Agreement is that, there is no method which can ensure that the raw material provided by the Canadian companies will not be used by India for making more bombs. In this regard, the article published in the Montreal Gazette have mentioned that,

"Canada’s ambassador to India, Stewart Beck, said on Monday that his country wanted to be able to track all nuclear material, but that India felt it only needed to report to the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Also, the Canadian PM has said, "Canadian nuclear safety commission had worked to achieve all of our objectives in terms of non-proliferation."

As there is a trust deficit between India and Pakistan, the later will feel threatened by this agreement. They might try to acquire more raw materials for making bombs, from their allies like China. This decision by the Canadian Government might add fuel to the existing hostilities between the two nations. It could also accelerate the arms race that exists between them.

Selling Uranium to India has been a mutual goal of Canada and its strategic ally but commercial rival, Australia. The Australian Government have also been looking at selling Uranium to this Asian giant, in order to gain access to the Indian market.

According to the Montreal Gazette,

"Opening up the huge Indian market would be a major benefit to Canada’s Cameco Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded uranium producer.

Another potential beneficiary is Canadian engineering firm SNC Lavalin, which bought the government’s commercial nuclear division, which designed the Candu reactor that is in use in numerous countries."

Even though the commercial interests of the big companies will be fulfilled, the common people will not really benefit from this deal. Also, the country will not be able to fulfil its moral responsibility of not arming a country situated in a potential ‘Nuclear Conflict Zone’.

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