Pakistan’s NSG membership ‘inescapable’ for lasting peace, stability: Air Chief

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ISLAMABAD, June 13 (APP): Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman Tuesday said Pakistan’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was ‘inescapable’ for lasting peace and stability in the region as well as the world.
Addressing the participants of a day-long international
seminar, he said nuclearization of the South Asian region and
Pakistan was primarily in response to its much-larger neighbour’s
desires to acquire nuclear arsenal.
The seminar titled “NSG Membership of Non-NPT States: Opportunities and Challenges” was jointly organized by Anquan Group, UK, East West Stability Studies (EWSS/Denmark) and Pakistan House here.
The Air Chief was of the view that nuclearization of Pakistan had brought, to some extent, peace and stability within
the region, and recounted Pakistan’s unmatched sacrifices rendered
in fight against terrorism and for purging the country of miscreants.
He hoped that international community would recognize Pakistan’s
sincere efforts for achieving durable peace and prosperity in
the region and the world.
Sohail Aman appreciated the seminar organizers for holding
such an open debate on an important issue and providing opportunity
to the participants to highlight different aspects of the NSG.
Later, the Air Chief presented mementos to speakers of
the seminar.
Earlier, the speakers said Pakistan fulfilled entire criterion
for the NSG membership as its credentials were much stronger than India.
They said Indian’s non-proliferation record was not as clean as
it had been claiming, adding it had a long history of thefts
of nuclear material and mishaps or near accidents at its
nuclear facilities.
NSG was established in response to India’s first nuclear test
in 1974 signifying a response strategy to prevent diversion
of nuclear material acquired for peaceful purposes to weapons programme.
Over the years, the NSG membership had grown and now stood
at 48 participating governments.
Among others, founder and Director Anquan Group
James Browning, former envoys Zamir Akram and Ali Sarwar Naqvi,
former DG Arms Control and Disarmament Air Commodore (R)
Khalid Banuri, Senior Fellow Nuclear Policy Programme,
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Mark Hibbs,
Security Consultant Anquan Group William Burton, President
SVI Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema and Director General
(Disarmnt-P) Khalil-ur- Rehman Hashmi spoke on the occasion and
debated on various dimensions and aspects of NSG and Non-NPT
states aspiring for membership.