NSG assailed for treating Pakistan, India differently on membership

Published January 2, 2021
Pakistan Rangers (wearing black uniforms) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) officers lower their national flags during a daily parade at the Pakistan-India joint check-post at Wagah border in this file photo. — Reuters
Pakistan Rangers (wearing black uniforms) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) officers lower their national flags during a daily parade at the Pakistan-India joint check-post at Wagah border in this file photo. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: A senior foreign ministry official, while criticising the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for differently treating Pakistani and Indian applications for membership, has regretted that the multilateral export control regime is politicised.

According to a media statement issued on Friday by the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), which hosted a webinar on “The politics of NSG: The current dimensions”, the director general of the foreign ministry’s Arms Control and Disarmament Division, Kamran Akhtar, said: “NSG very much epitomises the politics of non-proliferation at the global level.”

He accused the NSG of according “precedence to the interests of the nuclear supplier states”.

Indian and Pakistani applications for membership have been held up at the NSG since 2016 because of their non-NPT status and differences between members over the admission criteria.

According to Mr Akhtar, Pakistan is better qualified than India, even going by the formula proposed by Ambassador Rafael Grossi in 2016, as it does not have a mix of safeguarded and unsafeguarded facilities and has been more forthcoming in accepting legally binding commitments.

Speakers at a webinar identify deficiencies in the export control regimes

Speaking about India, he said: “If there was an argument that mainstreaming of India would benefit the non-proliferation regime, the Indian behaviour since joining Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) belies that argument.”

Mr Akhtar said there should not be two different standards for judging the membership applications from India and Pakistan. “Unfortunately, that’s what is happening now,” he added.

A former official of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr Tariq Rauf, identified major problems and deficiencies in the export control regimes. He said the regimes did not adapt to the changing international situations and there was a lack of universality and legitimacy in them, besides having inconsistent internal implementation.

A former permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament and the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Zamir Akram, also noted that the working of NSG was driven by geopolitics.

He said Pakistan’s argument had always been that there should be an equitable basis on which membership should be accorded. Pakistan also has other options like cooperation with China in civilian use of nuclear technology under the IAEA directives, he added.

SVI president Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said the applications by India and Pakis­tan, since 2016, had become a very cont­e­n­tious issue within the NSG as well as the outside politics which was related to it.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

The fall guy
18 Aug, 2022

The fall guy

WITH one camp in the PML-N repeatedly undermining the party’s own government, it is no wonder that economic and...
Never-ending scourge
18 Aug, 2022

Never-ending scourge

POLIO eradication efforts in the country appear to have suddenly taken a giant leap backwards. A day after...
Frozen Afghan funds
18 Aug, 2022

Frozen Afghan funds

WITH Afghanistan facing a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse, the American decision to not release ...
No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...