Pakistan’s offer to India for bilateral non testing reflects its policy of restraint

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 16 (APP): Pakistan Tuesday said its offer to
India for bilateral non testing arrangement of nuclear weapons was
reflective of its policy of promoting restraint and responsibility
in South Asia.

“The bilateral non testing arrangement, if mutually agreed,
could become binding immediately without waiting for the entry into
force of the CTBT at the international level,” the Foreign Office
spokesman said in a statement.

He was responding to media queries with reference to
Pakistan’s offer to India for a bilateral arrangement on non testing
of nuclear weapons, announced by Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj
Aziz on August 12.

The Spokesperson said that following the nuclear tests in
1998, Pakistan had proposed to India simultaneous adherence to the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The proposal, however, did not elicit a favourable response from India.

The spokesman said Pakistan has once again indicated the
possibility that the two countries may consider a bilateral
arrangement, in the larger interest of peace and stability in the
region, as well as in the global context.

He said Pakistan has indicated the possibility that the two
countries may consider a bilateral arrangement, which showed its
consistent support for the objectives of the CTBT.

The Spokesperson said that while the unilateral moratoriums
declared by the two countries were voluntary, legally non binding
and could be withdrawn unilaterally, a bilateral arrangement will be
mutually binding and difficult to withdraw from unilaterally.
Both countries could consider working out the details of the
arrangement and mutually agreed confidence building measures in
relation to it, the spokesman said.

He said it could set the tone for further mutually agreed
measures on restraint and avoidance of arms race in South Asia.
The spokesman said that a bilateral arrangement on non testing
will also send a positive signal to the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG)
countries which were discussing the non proliferation commitments of
non NPT states in relation to the question of membership.