ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Friday that it had applied for the membership of the Nuclear Sup­pliers Group (NSG), a 48-nation cartel of nuclear technology holders, saying its inclusion would help further non-proliferation objectives.

“In a letter addressed to the chairman of NSG, the Ambassador of Pakistan in Vienna stated that the decision to seek participation in the export control regime reflects Pakistan’s strong support for international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery,” Foreign Office said in a statement.

India, which is being backed by the US, is the other contender. Pakistan’s application, it is believed, would complicate India’s bid for entry into NSG as both are non-NPT states. The candidature of both countries would be discussed at the NSG’s Plenary session in June. All decisions at NSG are taken by consensus.

Pakistan, in the application, cited its credentials for the membership.

“Pakistan has the expertise, manpower, infrastructure, as well as the ability to supply NSG controlled items, goods and services for a full range of nuclear applications for peaceful uses,” it said.

“Pakistan attaches high priority to nuclear safety and security. It has taken legal, regulatory and administrative measures to bring nuclear safety and security at par with international standards.”

The statement, in a veiled reference to Indian candidature, stressed that any consideration of the requests for membership from non-NPT countries should be non-discriminatory and criteria-based.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2016

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