ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has formally applied for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an exclusive club of nuclear trading nations, the Foreign Office (FO) announced in a statement on Friday.
The formal application seeking membership of 48-nation NSG was submitted on May 19 by Pakistan’s Ambassador in Vienna, the statement said.
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In a letter addressed to the NSG chairman, the Pakistani envoy said the decision to seek participation in the export control regime reflected Islamabad’s strong support for international 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 ambassador said.
The FO statement said: “Pakistan attaches 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.”
“Pakistan’s export control regime is underpinned by strong legislation, regulatory and enforcement mechanisms. The national export control lists are harmonized with the control lists of NSG, MTCR and Australia Group.”
Through an official note, Pakistan has informed the IAEA director general of its adherence to the objectives of NSG and its decision to act in accordance with NSG guidelines with regard to transfer of nuclear material, equipment and related technology, including related dual-use equipment, materials, software and related technology.
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FO spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan had stressed the need for NSG to adopt a non-discriminatory criteria-based approach for NSG membership of the countries, which have never been party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Pakistan’s NSG membership will further NSG non-proliferation objectives by the inclusion of a state with nuclear supply capabilities and its adherence to NSG guidelines and best practices on supply of controlled items, goods, materials, technologies and services,” Zakaria maintained.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2016.