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Pak-India moratorium on N-testing to help entry into NSG: FO

By Mariana Baabar
August 17, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, after offering India for a bilateral arrangement on non-testing of nuclear weapons, on Tuesday further explained that such a bilateral arrangement on non-testing will also send a positive signal to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) countries which are discussing the non-proliferation commitments of non-NPT states in relation to the question of membership.

Both Pakistan and India are desperately vying to become members of the NSG where they face several technical hitches where international politics play a vital role.Spokesperson at the Foreign Office said: “While the unilateral moratoriums declared by the two countries were voluntary, legally non-binding and could be withdrawn unilaterally, a bilateral arrangement will be mutually binding and difficult to withdraw from unilaterally.

“Both countries could consider working out the details of the arrangement and mutually agreed confidence-building measures in relation to it. It could set the tone for further mutually agreed measures on restraint and avoidance of arms race in South Asia.”

Earlier, New Delhi had chosen to ignore this offer from Pakistan when Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz offered a bilateral arrangement on non-testing of nuclear weapons.After the nuclear tests in 1998, Pakistan had proposed to India simultaneous adherence to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The proposal did not elicit a favourable response from India.

“Once again, in the larger interest of peace and stability in the region, as also in the global context, Pakistan has indicated the possibility that the two countries may consider a bilateral arrangement, which is reflective of its policy of promoting restraint and responsibility in South Asia and its consistent support for the objectives of the CTBT. The bilateral non-testing arrangement, if mutually agreed, could become binding immediately without waiting for the entry into force of the CTBT at the international level,” added the spokesman in a statement.