ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to the international non-proliferation regime and asserted that it was ready to fulfil any criteria for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) — the cartel that controls global nuclear trade — but warned against an exception for India.
“Pakistan would be willing to consider any objective and non-discriminatory criteria that the NSG agrees for membership of the non-NPT states, and applies fairly,” Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said, while inaugurating a seminar on The Present and Future of Strategic Export Controls, which was organised by the Foreign Office’s Strategic Export Control Division.
The two-day seminar is being attended by experts from a number of countries and UNSCR-1540 Committee that monitors the implementation of the Security Council resolution on preventing non-state actors from acquiring nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, their means of delivery, and related materials.
Says it is ready to fulfil any criteria for membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group
The purpose of the seminar is to showcase Pakistan’s export control system and learn from international practices and experiences.
Ms Janjua repeated Pakistan’s longstanding position that “any country-specific exception for NSG membership, which overrides the long-established principles and norms, will be detrimental to the credibility of the global non-proliferation regime”. Her statements referred to India, whose candidature along with that of Pakistan is pending before the NSG.
The foreign secretary recalled that the exception granted to India earlier in 2008 led to a “rapid increase in military nuclear capabilities in our neighbourhood, including the nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean, development of new inter-continental ballistic missiles and induction of other destabilising weapon systems”.
The issue of membership of non-NPT countries would once again be taken up at the next plenary meeting expected in June. The NSG, which operates through consensus, has been unable to end the impasse over the issue for over two years now.
The foreign secretary said that the NSG should be seen as a rule-based organisation rather than a grouping which was driven by commercial and political considerations.
She said that all countries had a legitimate interest in accessing dual-use technologies for genuine socio-economic development needs.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to non-proliferation regime, Ms Janjua said: “Pakistan takes its international commitments on non-proliferation very seriously. We are fully implementing our obligations as a state party to various international instruments, including the Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological Weapons Convention, Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Facilities, nuclear safety conventions and the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources.”
Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2018