ISLAMABAD: Sharing concern over India’s possible inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a top official from Pakistan’s defence establishment has termed the move detrimental to balance of power in the South Asia besides being a threat to the regional peace.
The move can lead to nuclear proliferation and arms race in this region, he has cautioned. “The equilibrium of power in this region would greatly be disturbed that would have adverse repercussions for everyone,” cautioned Secretary Defence Production Lieutenant General (r) Tanvir Tahir in his briefing to a National Assembly’s panel here on Wednesday. He was referring to a recent visit paid to India by the United States President Barrack Obama whereby he reiterated strong support for New Delhi’s inclusion in the NSG.
The development has not gone in welcoming vibes in Islamabad that has voiced vocal opposition to New Delhi’s inclusion in NSG and its efforts to get permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UN SC). India’s membership to the NSG would make it entitled to certain export control regimes that can eventually result in the nuclear proliferation in South Asia, secretary defence production told the NA Standing Committee on Defence Production that met under the chair of Sohail Mansoor, the panel’s chairman.
Elaborating, the secretary said international nuclear export control regimes allow purchase of raw material and related stock for nuclear enrichment on greatly concessional terms, a leverage, the former general feared, New Delhi could misuse. “This could lead to disaster. Pakistan’s nuclear capability is based on deterrence. We are against nuclear proliferation and have proved ourselves as a responsible nuclear nation. The world needs to respect Pakistan’s status as a responsible nuclear power and it needs to realise that if India is given undue importance in international forums like NSG and UN SC and Pakistan is left out, this can have very serious repercussions.
We don’t want to get engaged in arms race.” He urged the political leadership to proactively take up and pursue the matter at all the relevant fronts. The secretary said that Pakistan’s nuclear safety standards were “far better and secure” than India and “no force on earth can have access to our nuclear arsenal.” He furthered “Our commitment to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) standards on nuclear safety and security is known to all.” Earlier on Tuesday, Advisor of Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz categorically opposed India’s possible entrance in the NSG club and its efforts to attain UN SC permanent membership.
“Pakistan is opposed to yet another country-specific exemption from NSG rules to grant membership to India, as this would further compound the already fragile strategic stability environment in South Asia, would further undermine the credibility of NSG and weaken the non-proliferation regime.......A country, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions on matters of international peace and security, such as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, by no means qualifies for a special status in the Security Council,” he said in a statement.
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