India's 'no first use of nuclear weapons' declaration 'amounts to nothing': FO

Published: November 18, 2016

The Foreign Office downplayed on Friday Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement about no first use of nuclear weapons, saying it “amounted to nothing”.

“Pakistan believes the ambiguous no first use declaration is not verifiable and amounts to nothing,” spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said during the weekly press briefing in Islamabad on Friday.

“The declaration can’t be a substitute for verifiable arms control and restraint measures proposed by Pakistan’s standing offer of Strategic Restraint Regime.”

The spokesperson went on to add that such statements by the defence minister of a country that “repeatedly and constantly heightens tension with an aggressive posture” should be a matter of concern for the region, and is also a threat to global peace and security.

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Zakaria also raised concern over signing of a nuclear deal between Japan and Indian, which allows Japanese companies to export atomic technology to the Asian country.

NSG membership

The spokesperson said Pakistan is a serious candidate for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and has established itself as a serious candidate for the membership.

He pointed out that an increasing number of countries were following a non-discriminatory approach and avoiding any formula to favour a specific country.

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Zakaria reiterated that Pakistan had expressed its openness to measures for strengthening non-proliferation objectives to the NSG. This includes proposal for binding bilateral agreement with India on non-testing, he added.

Kashmir issue

Responding to a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan was actively and forcefully taking up at every forum the issue of grave human rights violation by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir and the need for resolution of the longstanding conflict.

He highlighted that India was heightening tensions along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary to hide its crimes against humanity in held Kashmir.

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