Regional peace: ‘Indo-US nuclear deal to have negative effect’

Discriminatory waiver granted to India by NSG, says Chaudhry

Our Correspondent February 13, 2016


Peace and stability in South Asia had been negatively impacted by the Indo-US nuclear deal, as well as the discriminatory waiver granted to India by the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG).

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said this at a seminar for the launch of a new publication titled the Nuclear Paper Series, organised by The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) here on Friday.

He said that the recent reports by international experts corroborate that the NSG waiver had allowed India to increase its fissile material stocks with grave implications for strategic stability in the region.

The secretary said Pakistan was compelled to acquire nuclear deterrence in the face of a grave threat that could have been ignored, but only at great peril to the country’s national security and sovereignty.

Chaudhry said Pakistan was a peace loving nation, and that the country’s nuclear safety and security measures were in line with the best international standards and practices. He also said Pakistan’s strong credentials as a nuclear state qualify her for being mainstreamed in the global nuclear order.

“In order to meet our exponentially increasing energy needs, and to support sustained economic growth and industrial development in the years to come, civil nuclear power generation is an imperative necessity for Pakistan,” he said.

The secretary said that in order to ensure South Asia’s long term peace, stability and prosperity, it was essential for the international community to adopt an approach to this region that is even-handed and criteria-based, rather than driven by strategic and commercial considerations or political expediency.

“Pakistan’s conduct as a nuclear weapon state will continue to be defined by restraint and responsibility,” he said added that country sought to ensure its national security, credible minimum deterrence remained its guiding principle.

Earlier, ISSI Director-General Ambassador Masood Khan in his welcome remarks said that Pakistan and India, both non-NPT nuclear weapon states, should enter into the NSG simultaneously on the basis of a single criterion.

He said double standards should not be applied. “Pakistan should be given space to pursue its legitimate nuclear trade and participate in the work of export control regimes,” Khan said added that Pakistan should pursue a dialogue for a civil nuclear deal with the US, but not at the expense of the legitimate growth and refinement of its nuclear programme. “There should be no pricey pre-conditions for Pakistan to get what India was given pro bono,” Khan said.

Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs Director-General Khalid Banuri in his keynote speech said that unlike India Pakistan did not consider its nuclear weapons one of prestige, but a weapon
of security. “Pakistan had always made a consistent effort to ensure that sensitive technologies, material and equipment remain in the stringent control in the international spirit of non-proliferation,” Banuri said.

Three reports were presented at the occasion. These included ‘Pakistan in the global Nuclear Order’, ‘Pakistan and India: Nuclear Non- Proliferation Credentials’ and ‘Strategic Stability in South Asia: Challenges and Prospects’.

The speakers applauded Pakistan’s efforts to improve its legal order, fight terrorism, create a rigorous export-control regime and construct a nuclear security regime.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2016.


Girish | 5 years ago | Reply Amazing sense of humour you Pakistanis have got.
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