ISLAMABAD, June 19 (APP): Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
the cartel of 48 nuclear supplier countries would take up the membership cases of Pakistan and India in its annual plenary meeting, commencing from Monday in Seoul.
During the week long deliberations, the Group would
take up the matter for according member status to both the nuclear nations Pakistan and India, the sources privy to the subject revealed to APP here on Sunday.
Pakistan had formally submitted its membership application
on May 19, 2016 while India applied a week earlier, the day she had resumed nuclear weapons testing after twenty four years in 1998.
The sources expressed the hope that the group will strictly
adhere to the non discriminatory and unbiased approach while
considering grant of a ‘participating government’ status to
“Pakistan considers that the nature of threat that exists
today, needs to be addressed collectively and therefore, sees itself as a like minded partner in the global non proliferation efforts being member of the nuke supplier band,” they said.
“As a responsible state, Pakistan is participating in and
cooperating with the international community in efforts to prevent and control proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
“NSG should follow an objective, equitable and non discriminatory
approach for admitting new members. Grant of exclusive NSG membership to only one non NPT country would adversely affect progress in non proliferation, arms control and disarmament measures at the multilateral forums, as well as regional peace, security and stability.”
Being party to the Non proliferation Treaty is one of main
factors considered for admitting new participating governments in the NSG. Like India and Pakistan, Israel and South Sudan are also not signatories of NPT. North Korea withdrew from NPT in 2006 before conducting its first nuclear test.
The sources maintained that Pakistan seeks a non discriminatory
and rule based system for wider access to peaceful nuclear
technologies, an imperative for its socio economic and technological development. Blocking access to these regulatory arrangements for
high end dual use technologies would tantamount to capping Pakistan’s development and stunning the energy starved nation’s peaceful
Dispelling the impression of a delay in pursuit of the NSG
membership case, they observed that Pakistan has remained proactively engaged with the Group since the advent of this millennium and there was no substance in such misperceptions.
Commenting on the situation, Executive Director of Islamabad
based Centre for International Strategic Studies, Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi said “Pakistan’s case to become NSG member is very strong as it fulfils all the requirements. Pakistani public has pinned high hopes for a non discriminatory consideration on NSG.”
As seen in 2008, NSG’s decisions are heavily influenced by
strong American lobbying. In an exceptional move the U.S. had secured a special trade waiver for India in spite of its domestic laws and non proliferation norms that do not permit such exemption.
Despite being a non NPT state, Pakistan has been a responsible
nuclear power and synergistically works with and in accordance with International Atomic Energy Authority’s (IAEA) standards, Ambassador Naqvi said.
He added that the country has a well defined and robust command
and control system under National Command Authority for nuclear
safety, security, non proliferation, export control and WMD counter terrorism measures, which are some of the credentials
considered for awarding membership.
In order to regulate exports of goods, technologies, material
and equipment related to nuclear and biological weapons, and their delivery systems, Pakistan promulgated Export Control Act in September 2004. The Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Ordinance (CWCIO) already exists since 2000, Ambassador Naqvi said.
Consistent with the decision of NSG Plenary meeting held
on 3 April 1992 at Warsaw, Pakistan believes that strategic and political expediencies as well as commercial competition should not compromise the mutually shared non proliferation objectives of NSG.
Discriminatory approach for membership would adversely affect
regional peace, security and stability. Equally, it will undermine the global non proliferation regime, he stressed.
As recognition of Pakistan’s capability to contribute to
global nuclear research, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has granted her status of Associate Member.
Pakistan, being one of the developing state is the only
nation which has been contributing the highest number of
scientists (out of total 300, 37 scientists are Pakistanis)
in CERN programme whereas India is not even member of the
world’s highly prestigious colloquium. This indicates that
Pakistan would positively participate in NSG too.
Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema, who heads Strategic Vision
Institute and is a leading specialist on India, said Pakistan has legitimate needs for power generation to meet the growing energy demand of the expanding economy.
Civil nuclear power generation under IAEA safeguards is
an essential part of the country’s national energy security plan to support sustained economic growth and industrial development, and this can be easily achieved if the status of NSG membership is approved, he said.
Every Pakistani citizen, industrial and business unit
is mainly dependent on electricity and any different decision will be taken as discrimination against them.
Pakistan has established an autonomous Nuclear Regulatory
Authority (PNRA) that closely collaborates with the IAEA,
particularly on matters of nuclear safety, security and radiation protection. Professor Cheema said “Pakistan has a four decade long experience of safe and secure operation of nuclear power plants.”
He said Pakistan has offered its various facilities as Centre
of Excellence to act as regional and international hub for nuclear security training.
Pakistan’s all civil nuclear facilities are under IAEA safeguards
and have never been found inconsistent with its safeguards obligations. Pakistan commits to place all foreign supplied nuclear reactors
Some observers have noted that India still keeps its eight
reactors outside safeguards, which is the largest and fastest unsafeguarded program in the world. Recently Western experts made revelations about a secret nuclear city that India is building to develop thermo nuclear weapons.
Dr. Cheema highlighted the need that instead of relying
on meagre telephonic contacts with the NSG members, Pakistan may undertake more effective and result oriented diplomacy at the top political echelons for seeking NSG membership.
Ambassador Ali Naqvi, further commenting on qualifications
to be given status of member, said as a country with advanced nuclear fuel cycle capability, Pakistan has also offered its services under IAEA safeguards to the interested states and to participate in any non discriminatory nuclear fuel cycle assurance mechanism.
He said Pakistan is amongst the pioneering members of
IAEA. It strongly supports the nuclear watchdog’s fundamental
statuary responsibility in promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear technology on a non discriminatory and equitable basis.
Pakistan is party to Convention on Physical Protection
of Nuclear Materials and its 2005 Amendments; he said adding that Pakistan is also party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety and IAEA’s Early Notification and Assistance Conventions.
Pakistan supports the international fissile material
control efforts that are non discriminatory and that take
into consideration the issues of existing stocks and global
and regional asymmetries. Instead of supporting a half measure
such as a cut off treaty, Pakistan subscribes to negotiating
a Fissile Material Treaty at the Geneva based Conference on
Disarmament that would truly be a disarmament measure.
Besides an FMT, Pakistan has expressed its willingness
to negotiate international and legally binding instruments that are pending on CD’s agenda, which are: nuclear disarmament, negative security assurances; and prevention of arms race in outer space.
Nuclear disarmament is the rasion d’être of creation of CD and a universal goal at the UN.
Citing details and background about Pakistan’s not joining
the Non Proliferation Treaty he said it happened due to regional security dynamics but Pakistan throughout remained committed to mutually reinforcing objectives of non proliferation, disarmament and non discriminatory access to peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
Pakistan initiated legislative work to strengthen domestic
export control measures even prior to the adoption of United Nation Security Council Resolution 1540. The country has so far submitted four comprehensive reports to UNSCR 1540 Committee, which shows its commitment to non proliferation. A Pakistani expert works in the elite Group of Experts at the Committee, which is an acknowledgement of Pakistan’s non proliferation credentials.
As a responsible nuclear power, Pakistan fully implemented
the UN Security Councils resolutions on North Korea and Iran.
Pakistan had acted proactively once an international nuclear
black market was unearthed, in which Dr A. Q. Khan participated as a non State actor with more than thirty international players to proliferate technological know how to four states that ostensibly included India as their fourth customer.
Pakistan took a series of effective measures that included
developing technical solutions, a personnel reliability programme and intelligence capabilities to preclude any possibility of recurrence of in which a person could operate outside State’s authority.
For Pakistan, the issue is a closed chapter whereas other members of the international black market have either disappeared or remain at large. Pakistan has thereon made significant contributions for shared international objectives of non proliferation.
Other experts who look at non proliferation matters
expressed the hope that despite being a non NPT nuclear weapons state, Pakistan is one of the strongest proponents of non proliferation ideals. The country supports any informal arrangement and initiative that aims to counter the threat of WMD proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
It is amazing to note that Pakistan participates in
numerous informal and voluntary initiatives and it would not be unusual to admit it in NSG. The country subscribes to the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, participates in the IAEA’s Incident and Trafficking Database and made exceptional contributions in recently concluded initiative called NSS.
As a partner in Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism, Pakistan has been a key state in workings of GICNT’s ‘implementation and assessment group’ and prepared guidelines on nuclear detection architecture, nuclear forensics and planning and organization.
Over the years, NSG has contributed significantly to
strengthening of the global non proliferation regime by introducing stringent export controls for regulating nuclear trade and the Group has emerged as an important techno political component of global non proliferation regime.
During its over thirty years existence the NSG did not
have full civil nuclear cooperation with Non NPT states ever but interestingly and surprisingly, the Group offered an exceptional trade waiver in 2008 to only one Non NPT State for political reasons. This has damaged the global non proliferation regime, undermined the credibility of NSG and regional security dynamics in South Asia. If this dangerous trend is repeated, the region would be greatly affected and the non proliferation regime will lose its credibility.
Since 2008, despite being a non member and a non NPT state,
India has finalised more than a dozen nuclear cooperation
agreements with NSG’s members. The country also tried to extract the favour of transfers of enrichment and reprocessing technologies but NSG demurred on American behest because this would have given a direct boost to Indian nuclear weapons programme. In almost a decade of nuclear deals with several states, the load on Indian indigenous nuclear fuel has significantly reduced, which is now being used to develop nuclear weapons for air, land and sea based triad that India is pursuing at a large scale and fastest pace amongst the nuclear armed countries.
Pakistan wishes to have friendly, cooperative and good
relations with its neighbouring states and believes in peaceful co existence. However, India’s first nuclear test in 1947 injected nuclear dimension in strategic relations in South Asia. Pakistan was compelled to develop nuclear capability purely for self defence.
Pakistan’s bilateral proposal of a strategic restraint
regime has been repeatedly spurned by India since 1999 and American support has further emboldened the country’s insensitivity to peaceful resolution of disputes. The Pakistani proposal is about nuclear and missile restraints, conventional balance and conflict resolution.
Pakistanis, from different walks of life, consider it
their country’s right to gain access to all technology control arrangements that could enhance country ability to progress and deem it a matter of their national security and economic wellbeing.