Pakistan says exceptions to non-proliferation rules undermining regional strategic stability

At UN, Pakistan pushes for efforts to prevent weaponization of outer-space

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 15 (APP): Pakistan has called for a
non-discriminatory order to promote global nuclear disarmament as “exceptions” created by some major powers from long-held non-proliferation rules—an obvious reference to US-India nuclear deal—were undermining regional strategic stability.

“These ‘special arrangements’ not only denote double standards, but also aid in vertical proliferation by the beneficiary, undermining regional strategic stability, heightening the sense of insecurity, and widening the gap between haves and have-nots,” Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva, told the General Assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee.

Speaking in a debate on nuclear weapons, she said the shared goal of of achieving global nuclear disarmament was becoming elusive due to the lack of progress made by the Nuclear Weapon States in fulfilling their nuclear disarmament obligations, while attempting to shift the focus to additional non-proliferation measures that are cost-free for their own strategic calculus.

“The situation has been compounded by the creation of exceptions from long-held non-proliferation norms and rules, motivated by strategic and commercial considerations,” the Pakistani envoy said.

Tehmina Janjua said most nuclear-weapon states remained opposed to the commencement of negotiations for a comprehensive convention. Their security doctrines did not unconditionally rule out of the use of such weapons against others and they continued to stymie negotiations on negative security assurances.

The same countries, she added, had also opposed the scope of a fissile material cut-off treaty to include existing stocks in a manner that would address regional and global asymmetries.

“The frustration on the slow progress on nuclear disarmament has spilled over into a counter movement that is attempting to shift the discourse,” the Pakistani envoy said, noting that essential security considerations were being excluded, while attempting to recast the discourse in exclusively humanitarian terms.

The existential security concerns of states were being unjustly trivialized, she said, emphasizing that efforts to force progress outside the Conference on Disarmament would only exacerbate the situation.

In that regard, Ambassador Janjua stressed that a rules-based, equitable and non-discriminatory international order must be created. That could only be achieved by addressing the security concerns of all States, making progress on weapons limitations and strengthening the non-proliferation regime.

Also, she said, important was extending negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States in order to ease current strains on the disarmament and non-proliferation agenda.