Pakistan wants to join Nuclear Suppliers Group

Published: July 15, 2011

National Command Authority volunteers to join the group – and three other regimes – if the country is recognised as a nuclear weapons state. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan has offered to join four nuclear export control regimes, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group, if the international community recognises it as a nuclear weapons state, but remains unwilling to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

At a meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, the country’s top political and military leadership said Pakistan wished to be part of global non-proliferation efforts but only if it was accepted as a nuclear weapons state.

“The National Command Authority reiterated Pakistan’s desire to constructively contribute to the realisation of a world free of nuclear weapons and to the goals of non-proliferation on the basis of equality and partnership with the international community,” said a statement issued after the meeting.

Chaired by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the meeting was attended by all services chiefs and the head of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), an institution that manages the nuclear infrastructure and deals with its safety.

The vaguely-drafted statement by the prime minister’s office said Pakistan was “keen to join four export control arrangements” without giving any specific details.

Foreign Office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua later told The Express Tribune that Pakistan was willing to join four ‘technology cartels’ that control the international trade of nuclear and missile technologies: the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Australia and the Wassenaar groups.

The MTCR and the NSG deal with the international trade of missile and nuclear technologies while the Australia and the Wassenaar groups manage trade in conventional small weapons and various materials used in the manufacturing of arms respectively.

Janjua said Pakistan’s ‘principled’ position on Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was the same. About NPT, she added that Islamabad considered it as a ‘discriminatory’ arrangement and will not sign the CTBT unless the United States and India do the same.

Power generation

As part of the energy security strategy, the NCA reviewed and approved the Nuclear Power Programme 2050, a plan to use nuclear energy to meet the existing electricity shortfalls and to respond to the future requirements of a growing population and economy.

The NCA also approved the Space Programme 2040, the statement added, though it did not specify any further details about the programme.

Nuclear safety

The meeting appeared to be playing down what it referred to as ‘hyped’ international fears about the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. However, the prime minister did admit there were ‘concerns’ after a secret American raid inside the country to kill Osama bin Laden and a subsequent militant attack on a Karachi naval facility.

But Gilani said that ‘campaigns’ of foreign entities casting doubts over the safety of the country’s nuclear arsenal would never stop Pakistan from seeking a minimum deterrence and pursuing a strategic programme.

According to the statement, the NCA expressed satisfaction at the security and safety of Pakistan’s strategic programmes and facilities. It also expressed confidence in the operational readiness of Pakistan’s strategic weapons.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Ahmer Ali
    Jul 15, 2011 - 11:02AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is the basic right of Pakistan but the most greatest hindrances Pakistan shall face that USA and other advanced Western countries’ interference and stamp of Talibanization and terrorist state by USA and advanced Western countries and the most dangerous and arch rival India shall oppose because India never feels happy and always jealousy when Pakistan gets honor in the world for doing any achievements in any fields.

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  • Manoj
    Jul 15, 2011 - 12:23PM

    Is someone listing!!!

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  • how come?
    Jul 27, 2011 - 9:42AM

    Nuclear programe 2050, space program 2040 all are fine.

    Do they have a Karachi program 2011?

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  • Long Standing
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:15AM

    Pakistan wants to join Nuclear Suppliers Group.. very surprising….

    In fact Pakistan was that only country that freely supplied Nuclear Technology…. of course for peaceful purposes…. I guess it was the president of Halal Nuclear Energy Suppliers Group..

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  • King Julien
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:29AM

    try craigslist…..

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  • lalalala
    Aug 24, 2011 - 11:20AM

    Crying foul :(
    I too want that chocolate…:(

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  • Chacha
    Aug 24, 2011 - 11:43AM

    So if Pakistan is not part of the group it will actually contribute to Proliferation ? India had done its test in 1974 and has not done any act of proliferation despite not being part of any group. Pakistan sold itself out at the first opportunity. Now they want in – and what is the threat – that they will sell to…..but wait a minute…Osama is dead, Now who ?

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