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Pakistan makes strong pitch for NSG membership

Updated August 25, 2016

UNITED NATIONS: Pakis­tan has made a strong case for the country’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) — a 48-nation body that regulates the global trade in nuclear technology — telling the UN Security Council that the exemplary measures Islam­­abad had taken to strengthen nuclear safety establish its eligibility credentials.

“We expect that a non-discriminatory, criteria-based approach is followed for extending NSG membership which strengthens the non-proliferation regime,” said Pak­istan’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassa­dor Maleeha Lodhi, on Tuesday.

Speaking on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan had implemented a comprehensive export control regime, participated in the Nuclear Security Summit process, ratified the 2005 amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, declared unilateral moratorium on further nuclear testing and reiterated its willingness to translate it into a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India, all of which established its eligibility to become a NSG member.

In her remarks, she said the global disarmament landscape presented a gloomy picture due to the lack of progress by states with nuclear weapons in fulfilling their disarmament obligations. As disarmament and non-proliferation were linked, it was unrealistic to expect progress on one without movement on the other.

A challenge to non-proliferation norms was the granting of discriminatory waivers, arrangements which denoted double standards and opened the possibility of diverting material intended for peaceful use to military purposes, she added.

“Differences in state capacities compounded challenges to addressing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” she said.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016