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May 16, 2018

‘Pakistan remains strongly opposed to use of chemical weapons’


May 16, 2018

Islamabad: Pakistan remains fully committed to the objectives of CWC and continues to actively and constructively participate in OPCW’s work’, said Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.

She stated this while speaking at the Seminar on Chemical Weapons Convention: Implementation and Challenges, organised by the Centre for International Strategic Studies Islamabad here on Tuesday.

Ambassador Naqvi, in his opening remarks, stated that CWC is deeply connected to customary international law and the International Humanitarian Law, specifically in the context of the prohibition of use of discriminate force and principle of use of proportional force.

Foreign Secretary highlighted Pakistan’s exemplary role in the implementation of CWC. She underlined Pakistan’s strong commitment to the principles and objectives of CWC and said that Pakistan has also pledged adequate quantities of chemical protection equipment, which could be utilized by OPCW in case of chemical emergencies. Pakistan has hosted several regional and international capacity building courses including advanced international assistance and protection course. In this regard, the Foreign Secretary posited that in 2015 ‘Pakistan established a Regional CWC assistance and protection centre in Islamabad, which was formally inaugurated by Director General OPCW’, which is appreciated internationally.

The Foreign Secretary categorically stated that Pakistan has been following the standards adopted by various multilateral export control regimes. She said, “Our national control lists and guidelines are consistent with those of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Australia Group (AG). Madam Foreign Secretary appreciated the pre-eminence of women in the field and assured the male colleagues that their participation will help improve the debate on these issues; while commemorating of leadership of women in Conference on Disarmament and other disarmament forums.

Amb. Tariq Osman Haider, former expert member Oversight Board for Strategic Export Controls, underlined CWC contemporary relevance with Syrian issue and overarching threat of non-state actors. He reiterated that the current issues highlight significance of OPCW being accepted as an objective investigator despite political hurdles. He highlighted that Pakistan has been the member of Export Control of OPCW for several tenures of two years each. Most recently, Pakistan was selected to the Executive Committee of OPCW in 2017. He also acknowledged the need to preserve and strengthen the moral and public backing against CW and for support for the Convention.

Dr. Javed Khursheed, Distinguished Fellow at CISS, focused mainly on implementation challenges to the CWC. He recommended that Pakistan should ensure a National Protection Program to ensure safety of people and environment. Dr. Khursheed emphasized the importance of effective communication with industry and enhancement of national capacity through academia.

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