UNITED NATIONS: Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to promote peace and stability in South Asia, a senior Pakistani diplomat has renewed his country’s proposal for a bilateral arrangement on a nuclear-test-ban in the region.
Speaking in the U.N. General Assembly’s main committee, Ambassador Farukh Amil, who is Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, cited growing mistrust and insatiable desire for military dominance on the part of a few countries as factors threatening regional and international security, and said Islamabad’s security policy was defined by “restraint, responsibility and avoidance of the arms race.”
Despite the lack of any favourable response, Ambassador Amil said, Pakistan had told the 193-member Assembly last year that it was ready to work towards a nuclear-test-ban in South Asia. “We renew our commitment towards this proposal,” he added. “Our proposal for a strategic restraint regime in South Asia based on reciprocal measures for nuclear and missile restraint and instituting a balance between conventional forces, also remains on the table,” the Pakistani envoy said while addressing the First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security matters.
Turning to the deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament (CD), Ambassador Amil said proposals of adding additional non-proliferation measures to its agenda were being driven by the self-serving interests of certain States. Such actions were divisive and not going to work, he said. While expressing understanding of the initiative for banning nuclear weapons on humanitarian and ethical grounds, Ambassador Amil said such arms cannot be eliminated without addressing the concerns of States that rely on them for their security.
The Conference on Disarmament, he said was the forum for negotiations on a universal, non-discriminatory nuclear weapons convention, negative security assurances and on the peaceful use of outer space. The substantive work on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treat must be undertaken in the CD on the basis of a universally accepted mandate that explicitly addresses the asymmetries in existing fissile material stocks, he said, noting Pakistan’s detailed proposal in this regard remains on the table. “We need to reconsider the negative effects on the treaty’s prospects generated by the misguided exercise of double standards, manifest in the conclusion of discriminatory bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreements, the grant of inequitable waivers, and the continued pursuit of the creation of additional country-specific exceptions in multilateral export control regimes.”
Pakistan was a mainstream partner in global efforts to secure export controls and had fulfilled all requirements of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), he said. A party to both conventions covering chemical and biological weapons, Pakistan valued those instruments and was interested in strengthening both those regimes.