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ISLAMABAD: The Strategic Trade Author­isation-1 (STA-1) status given to India by the United States is undermining regional stability and the global non-proliferation regime, warned a think tank on Tuesday.

The Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), which specialises in strategic stability issues, said in a press release: “The US tilt towards India for its geopolitical goals, including containment of China, marked a paradigm shift in the American non-proliferation policy.”

The US Department of Commerce had on July 30 granted STA-1 status to India. This allows licence exceptions for export of certain critical dual-use, defence-related and military technologies to India from the US. The US move had preceded the initiation of India-US 2+2 dialogue involving their foreign and defence ministers for which Secretary Mike Pompeo will visit Delhi after completing his Islamabad trip.

SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema recalled that this status was normally granted by the US to a country, which was a member of all four export control regimes — Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group, Missile Technology Control Regime and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The Trump administration, he noted, again made an exception for India by giving the status to it although it is still not a member of the NSG.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2018