ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has applied for membership of a nuclear suppliers group, saying its inclusion would help reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
A formal application seeking membership of the 48-nation group was submitted by Pakistan ambassador in Vienna on Wednesday, according to a statement.
In his letter addressing the NSG chairman, the envoy said seeking participation in the export control regime reflected Pakistan’s support for efforts to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
“Pakistan has the expertise, manpower, infrastructure, as well as the ability to supply NSG controlled items, goods and services for a full range of nuclear applications for peaceful uses,” the envoy said.
“Pakistan attached high priority to nuclear safety and security. It has taken legal, regulatory and administrative measures to bring nuclear safety and security at par with international standards,” it added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry told US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller Pakistan had the “credentials” to join the club of nuclear trading nations.
Pakistan’s export control regime was underpinned by strong legislation, regulatory and enforcement mechanisms, the statement added.
Pakistan also informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of its adherence to the objectives of NSG and, the decision to act in accordance with NSG guidelines.
These relate with the transfer of nuclear material, equipment and related technology, including related dual-use equipment, materials, software and related technology.
Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan had stressed the need for NSG to adopt a non-discriminatory approach for the countries that have never been party to nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The NSG is dedicated to curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that could foster nuclear weapons development.
Created in response to India’s testing its first nuclear weapon in 1974, it is expected to hold its next meeting in June.