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Pakistan reaffirms commitment to N-test moratorium

Updated Jun 15, 2016 08:06am


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WASHINGTON: Pakistan reiterated its commitment to nuclear test moratorium at a key ministerial meeting in Vienna as India chose to stay away from the venue, a document shared with Dawn showed.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) held a ministerial meeting in Vienna on Monday, marking 20 years since the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature in 1996. The countries that have still to ratify the treaty were invited to join member states and the CTBTO to discuss the future of CTBT.

At the conference, participants pledged to take further steps towards making test ban a binding reality but India and North Korea opted to stay out.

Ending discriminatory practices will help strengthen non-proliferation regime, says Pakistani envoy

Pakistan’s Ambassador in Vienna, Ayesha Riaz, delivered a statement, affirming Pakistan’s stance that despite being a non-signatory to the treaty it supported the objective and purpose of the meeting by maintaining a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing. Ambassador Riaz assured the international community that Pakistan would not be the first to resume nuclear testing in its region.

A leaf from history: Target: Pakistani nukes

Ms Riaz also said that ending discriminatory practices would go a long way in strengthening global non-proliferation regime, including the CTBT. She pointed out that a golden opportunity was missed in 2008 to integrate CTBT as a non-proliferation benchmark while granting a country-specific waiver to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines.

The opportunity was missed because the United States used its influence to get an exemption for India and is now backing New Delhi’s bid to join the NSG without signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Ambassador Riaz called for a non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach for integrating and mainstreaming states outside the non-proliferation instruments. The CTBT bans nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.

The non-signatory states are also called Annex 2 countries and include 44 states that participated in the negotiation for the CTBT from 1994 to 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time.

Key among the Annex 2 states that have signed but not ratified the treaty yet is the United States where the Congress has not yet approved ratification. Others in the eight Annex 2 states that have yet to ratify the treaty include China, Egypt, Iran and Israel.

Only North Korea, India, and Pakistan have not signed the treaty among the Annex 2 states.

The treaty will come into force only with the signature and ratification of the Annex 2 states of the treaty, 180 days after they have all deposited their instruments of ratification.

The ministerial meeting in Vienna features countries that still attach importance to the value of the test ban treaty.

US Undersecretary Rose Gottemoeller represented the United States at Monday’s meeting and read out a message from President Barack Obama.

Mr Obama noted that a legally binding prohibition on nuclear weapon tests or any other nuclear explosions was a meaningful step towards nuclear disarmament — a goal achievable once the CTBT enters into force.

Acknowledging that the United States had itself not ratified the treaty, Ms Gottemoeller said the US was working very hard towards that objective.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2016


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Comments (71) Closed

Desi Dimag Jun 15, 2016 07:14am

Interesting time ahead.

Bipul Jun 15, 2016 08:11am

Why not sign the treaty and then talk.

Awais Jun 15, 2016 08:15am

Everyone wants that other one should sign CTBT...

Rational Jun 15, 2016 08:16am

"Ambassador Riaz assured the international community that Pakistan would not be the first to resume nuclear testing in its region."

So, what would Pakistan do if China (which is in the region) does a nuclear testing? Will they resume the testing then?

sandeep Jun 15, 2016 08:30am

The reasons for India not signing the Non- proliferation Treaty are realistic. To better understand why India did not sign the NPT , what actually is there in NPT can shed the light and this automatically explains India not signing NPT. 1. According to NPT , only the Horizontal Proliferation is prohibited and not the vertical proliferation i.e. no new country except the p-5 (US, UK, Russia, China and France) can proliferate the nuclear weapons. And the most tricky part is that there is no limitation or clause to limit further proliferation by the p-5 nations. This means that p-5 can acquire as many weapons as they can but other nations shouldn't dare to procure any . This is a clear discrimination and a move to permanently geo-politicize nuclear weapons.

Ibmx Jun 15, 2016 08:36am

Perhaps pakistan cand sign and show leadership by example, or stop complaining.

Naveed Jun 15, 2016 08:46am

I am so happy our foreign office folks are waking up from deep sleep. This was a small venue but the strategic importance is very high. I would congratulate our foreign office for putting full effort into this!

Zak Jun 15, 2016 08:51am

This shows Pakistan is a sincere,honest and a nation committed to disarmament and peace, Pakistan is deserving to be member of NSG as it is responsible nuclear power and will use nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes

ZULFIQAR Jun 15, 2016 08:57am

Good Move & Now Pressure will go back to INDIA for NSG membership Timing is Perfect by Pakistan to move Motion

tamil Jun 15, 2016 08:58am

We will conduct nuclear test on Mars, if need be.

AHA Jun 15, 2016 09:02am

So Pakistan is signing CTBT?

Mohan Jun 15, 2016 09:09am

what is the point in saying...if you believe in it then sign it. as simple that.

taimoor khan Jun 15, 2016 09:14am

Sad to see US backing an unreliable partner India which is not committed to world peace and fighting terrorism, but soon US will realize its mistake and will come back begging to Pakistan to assist it in war against terror.

INDIAN Jun 15, 2016 09:14am

Good So when pakistan is signing CTBT

hitesh Jun 15, 2016 09:16am

Pakistan should sign the treaty

JSR Jun 15, 2016 09:17am

If India is denied NSG membership, Pakistan consider it as a success. But the evaluation success is to become a member of NSG. True victory is in achievements not in stopping someone's. India will raise to greater levels whether we are a member of NSG or not.we belive in our progress. Jaihind

Sunil Jun 15, 2016 09:18am

June 24 Seoul will be the crucial decision, and India will be inducted in NSG

khusbo Jun 15, 2016 09:23am

Pakistan would not be the first to resume nuclear testing in its region.

once again follow india

india has no frist use policy for nuclear weapons

Can pakistan also give such guanrantee to vienna ?

Rajesh Jun 15, 2016 09:25am

great news & great development ahead in time to come

Satt Jun 15, 2016 09:27am

Pakistan is on moral high ground,sooner it will sign CTBT.Congratulation from India.

Raahil Jun 15, 2016 09:30am

We can sign the treaty as we are anyway not bound by it. World cannot stop us if we decide to test even before India. Good diplomacy by Pakistan by taking part in meeting and making such promises.

papito Jun 15, 2016 09:31am

Then please sign the treaty yourself

CHETAN SHARMA Jun 15, 2016 09:36am

India has the policy of ....No First Use...Pakistan should try to complete India in this field also.... to make south Asia safe.

iftikhar kk Jun 15, 2016 09:45am

India should do the same

The Fact Jun 15, 2016 09:47am

Good to reiterated the principled stance of Pakistan.

Aslam shaikh Jun 15, 2016 09:47am

Why don't you sign CTBT and NPT and show your seriousness ?

Vishal Jun 15, 2016 09:48am

Indias absence shows commitment, faith in their own convictions and a statement of intent to catch up with the rest of the world.

Anuj Jun 15, 2016 09:51am

India has signed 'no first use of nukes' agreement, what about Pakistan?

amin Jun 15, 2016 10:14am

We would not be the first one to do the test!

oracle Jun 15, 2016 10:32am

Good for India.There is no difference when China may sign but not ratify and India does not sign. Time will tell that if Pakistan will sign but not ratify as a ploy

Akram Jun 15, 2016 10:33am

After 96 explosion Indian PM Vajpayee announced Indian nuclear policy highlighting no more nuclear test, no first attack. Thats was word and will remain forever.

Omar Jun 15, 2016 10:44am

I strong principal stance that Pakistan has always had. Pakistan has also pushed to have South Asia a nuclear free zone but that has not been welcomed by our neighbour to the east who has other schemes in mind. We must stay resolved and maintain our principal stance.

Sivaram Pochiraju Jun 15, 2016 11:04am

India, Pakistan and North Korea must sign the treaty. Oral assurance by the country or countries simply means nothing. It's null and void. There is no use remaining in distrust all the time.

ABBAS ALI Jun 15, 2016 11:30am

Why don't you sign CTBT and NPT and show real seriousness? That will put pressure on India

Sarcastic Scoundrel Jun 15, 2016 11:47am

@iftikhar kk ... why ?? ... We have plans for more Nuke Tests. So we wont have a moratorium. ... but the best thing is Pakistan is trapped after signing this. I am happy.

Namo Jun 15, 2016 12:00pm

This is a step in the right direction.

Jawad Jun 15, 2016 12:02pm

Remarkable position presented by our own M/s. Ayesha Riaz. The country will be on entirely different platform internationally if empower women to lead us.

Muftkhor Jun 15, 2016 12:34pm

Pakistan should go ahead and sign NPT

Alcadiaes Jun 15, 2016 12:49pm

@Rational The region she is referring to is South Asia. China is in the East Asia region and thus is not the concern here.

N.S Jun 15, 2016 12:50pm

Pakistan should sign the NPT(non proliferation treaty) but cannot sign CTBT, without further tests, there won't be any new development. But a unanimous decision can make it happen by all the players in the region, and not a unilateral one.

INDIAN LOVE Jun 15, 2016 01:04pm

Pakistan should sign NPT & CTBT to get early entrance in NSG and MTCR . India will try best to enter NSG without NPT & CTBT . CTBT is ment for nuclear States

Sohails Jun 15, 2016 01:10pm

Typical Indian diplomacy! Anytime there are principles, they're absent! Kashmir issue, nuclear issue, list goes on!

shuaib Jun 15, 2016 01:12pm

Pakistan should not sign if India does not.

Nishant Jun 15, 2016 01:14pm

India hasn't signed yet because the treaty only recognises a state to be a nuclear power if it had conducted a N-test before 1970.

Catalyst Jun 15, 2016 01:15pm

Well done. Perfect timing. More pressure on India.

Common Pakistani Jun 15, 2016 01:22pm

@Bipul why should we sign it first. If India claims they are peaceful then why not sign the treaty together. This exposes their claims...

Common Pakistani Jun 15, 2016 01:23pm

@Zak gud one

adventurer Jun 15, 2016 01:35pm

It is action needed. Just being Present won't work. Why not go ahead and sign it.
That for sure will ensure NSG membership.

Zak Jun 15, 2016 01:36pm

We are polite, you first.

Zak Jun 15, 2016 01:43pm

@Anuj India's past record shows it does not honour what it signs, like UN kashmir plebiscite etc. Signing internal documents are meaningless. Gather guts, step forward and sign the NPT infront of the world. Don't run from it as you do from committments and responsibilities. You can't play devious , all your life.

Chaman Jun 15, 2016 01:45pm

Why India is running out of signing the treaty??

Zak Jun 15, 2016 01:47pm

@oracle China is not India's concern, only Pakistsn-India rivalry, which will end with kashmir resolution.

Malika Jun 15, 2016 01:46pm

India centric policies must stop

Zak Jun 15, 2016 01:48pm

@Namo guess who ran again from rational committment. One country alone, constant violator of agreements and a menace in the region.

Sunny Jun 15, 2016 02:17pm

What the international community doesn't understand Pakistan should present it's case at every international level rather using India for present it's case. India will get into NSG based on it's own merit and it's historical record and Pakistan wants to enter NSG based on india's merit. how that is possible.

Zak Jun 15, 2016 02:18pm

@Awais but the one who has deceived world all the time, should sign first infront of the world.

sam Jun 15, 2016 02:32pm

@Akram - try!

V K Das Jun 15, 2016 02:34pm

Why is Pakistan so obsessed with India? Are their no other countries in the world to compare with. In India we do not talk of Pakistan so much.

JABBAR-HIND Jun 15, 2016 02:50pm

@Omar what is the point be only South Asia be a nuclear free zone, when India's neighbour China has big collection? Why don't Pakistan ask China to be part of nuclear free zone?

N.S Jun 15, 2016 03:11pm

@V K Das On the contrary there is no mention of India, check the number of Indian comments and then say who is obsessed with whom. Pakistan bashing is one of the plank of Indian politicians including the current government. India was never mentioned here in Pakistan in election campaign.

Ali Jun 15, 2016 06:08pm

India "abstains" from Comprehensive Nuclear Test-ban-Treaty Organisation (CTBTO)? India also "refuses" to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)? This proves India's true intentions of expanding its nuclear-weapons arsenal, which threaten the region and the world.

Therefore, the Obama Administration must "block" India's membership bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), until India sign the NPT. The US must demand signing NPT by all, and not make any exceptions? Such double standards would only bring the world closer to Nuclear Armageddon.

Mazhar naqvi Jun 15, 2016 07:19pm

Dual US standards....

Akhtar Jun 15, 2016 09:27pm

@Ibmx India is big brother in SE Asia. Big brother needs to show some guts and stop hiding behind Israel and USA.

pandy Jun 15, 2016 09:29pm

I am an indian. I want india to use its fund for education and development and not for weapons of mass destruction. we all want peace. we should not justify nuclear and military proliferation due to past wars. let us look at ourselves and try to develop ourself .

Meow Jun 16, 2016 05:36am

Finally Pakistan is moving in right direction. Go ahead and sign it as Pakistan history make it the no 1 proliferator in the world

Being Indian Jun 16, 2016 11:58am

@Zak oh really ? Responsible Nuclear nation ? Only to be used for peaceful purpose? then for what reason your ministers n army keeps mentioning about Nukes ? why do u have those tactical nukes ? If you are true about what u speak then go on Pakistan Sign " No First Use " Policy .

Haris Jun 16, 2016 02:53pm

@Bipul Sure! As soon as india signs.

Tamil Guru Jun 16, 2016 03:40pm

Signing of the NPT & CTBT and becoming a member of NSG and MTCR will still not stop the Drone attacks which is the immediate "sovereignty" problem faced by Pakistan today.

Aftab Hussain Jun 16, 2016 07:25pm

@khusbo Get your facts before you go about posting comments. Pakistan also has no first use of nuclear weapons policy and it is known to the entire world but except you.

Observer Jun 16, 2016 08:17pm

@sandeep -- What you said about "discrimination" is an old Indian argument and is merely an excuse for promoting India's own nuclear agenda. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had publicly expressed (in a CNN interview) India's willingness to join NPT as long it was granted the same status as the nuclear-weapon states. This means it was okay for India to discriminate against others as long as India itself was not a target of discrimination. If discrimination is a concern than why India wants to join NSG? Wouldn't it be perpetuating discrimination by making decisions about others while keeping itself free of NPT restrictions?

brr Jun 16, 2016 09:26pm

The strange part - if not the dubious distinction part: "that despite being a non-signatory to the treaty it supported the objective and purpose of the meeting by maintaining a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing:.