Tuesday September 21, 2021

‘NSG membership a must for Pakistan’

November 10, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is imperative for Pakistan’s recognition as a responsible nuclear state and access to sophisticated nuclear technology.

This was said by the director general, Disarmament, Kamran Akhtar at the Foreign Office while speaking at a roundtable discussion organised by the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) on India’s NSG Politics.

The discussion was held on the eve of an NSG consultative meeting (Nov 10) and an informal plenary session (Nov 11) to be held in Vienna for deliberations on the membership of non-NPT countries.

Akhtar said even if Pakistan was not admitted to the 48 member cartel controlling the international nuclear commerce at this stage, it should continue its efforts for its inclusion in
the group.

“In the longer run, we need recognition and access to technology,” he said and underscored the importance of building a positive narrative about Pakistani nuclear programme instead of it being just about weapons and war.

This would help Pakistan be seen as a contributor to the achievement of sustainable development goals, he said.Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal said the US support for the Indian candidature was motivated by its political and strategic interests.

He said despite lack of progress towards consensus, India and its backers pushed for a second meeting of the NSG this year to weaken the opposition to Indian candidature besides keeping the issue alive.SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said only India’s entry into the NSG would put back Pakistani efforts for developing its infrastructure and industry by decades.

Therefore, he maintained, such an eventuality would have serious consequences for national security and economic and industrial development. He observed that India was one of the worst proliferators, but Pakistan could not capitalize on it. He recalled that India once had disdain for non-proliferation regimes, which had now been conveniently forgotten by the world.

The SVI, in its recommendations, noted that the NSG membership was more than a matter of prestige for Pakistan and was vital for its socio-economic and technological development.