Pakistan tells US it qualifies for nuclear suppliers club

Neither India nor Pakistan has signed the nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty, a 'prerequisite' to NSG membership

Reuters May 17, 2016
Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Foreign secretary on Tuesday told a US envoy his country has the "credentials" to join a club of nuclear trading nations, signalling Islamabad may apply alongside India and force a showdown in the consensus-based group next month.

Such a move would drag the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) into the long-running tension between India and Pakistan.

Diplomats last year quietly launched a new push to induct India into the NSG - a 48-nation club dedicated to curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that could foster nuclear weapons development.

"Pakistan expressed confidence in its credentials to become full member of the export control regimes, particularly Nuclear Suppliers Group," the Foreign Ministry's official spokesperson said in a tweet.

The comment followed talks on Tuesday in Islamabad between Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller.

Obama urges Pakistan, India to scale down nuclear threat

The US Embassy in Islamabad declined to comment.

Membership of the NSG would increase India's international clout and provide a vested interest in curbing the world's most dangerous regional arms race, but the prospects are fraught.

The campaign for India membership is seen as carrying the risk of antagonising Pakistan as well as its ally China, which could veto any India application.

China could also insist as a condition of India's membership that Pakistan also be allowed to join, a potential hard sell because of Islamabad's development of new tactical nuclear weapons.

A further complication is that neither India nor Pakistan has signed the nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty, generally seen as a prerequisite to NSG membership. The Nuclear Suppliers Group is expected to hold its next meeting in June. The NSG was created in response to India's testing its first nuclear weapon in 1974.


Rabia | 6 years ago | Reply As for India's membership of the NSG, Washington remains committed to help achieve this goal. But a selective nuclear policy will have far reaching consequences. Not only will this accentuate the asymmetry in strategic capabilities between India and Pakistan and erode nuclear deterrence in South Asia but also risk fuelling a more dangerous regional arms race.
Shahid | 6 years ago | Reply Having accepted the IAEA safeguards and Additional Protocol and having effectively subscribed to and practised the principles of non-proliferation, it is immaterial if Pakistan has formally signed the NPT, CTBT or any other such treaty. Pakistan has acquired high-level expertise in the peaceful use of nuclear energy in industry, power, agriculture and health care. Its inclusion in NSG will not only benefit it but also encourage civil nuclear trade globally without compromising on world peace and harmony.
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