At U.N., Pakistan says exceptions to non-proliferation rules endangers regional strategic stability

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for promoting global nuclear disarmament by building a rules-based, equitable and non-discriminatory order that, among other elements, barred exceptions driven by strategic, political or commercial considerations.

Speaking in the General Assembly’s main committee, Ambassador Farukh Amil, who is Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, said that double standards in the application of non-proliferation norms for the sake of political expedience and economic benefits endangered strategic stability in the South Asia region and beyond.

Ambassador Amil, who was speaking in a thematic debate on nuclear weapons, said that amid a worsening international and regional security environment, the goal of nuclear disarmament seemed ever more elusive. That lack of progress was primarily due to nuclear ‘weapon States in fulfilling their disarmament obligations, while constantly shifting the goal posts towards additional non-proliferation measures that were cost-free for their own strategic gains.

Turning to the Conference on Disarmament (CD), he expressed regret that it had fallen short of expectations in fulfilling its raison detre of nuclear disarmament. The frustration, brewing over the slow progress, had boiled over, giving rise to an initiative launched outside the Conference on Disarmament to ban nuclear weapons, which had subsequently faltered by ignoring the fundamental security considerations that underpinned nuclear disarmament.

While his Government empathized with the sense of disappointment that propelled the proponents of such a ban, the Pakistani envoy said such initiatives would not lead to any real change on the ground.

For its part, any treaty that failed to improve security for all States was a non-starter, as evidenced by the failure of the fissile material cut-off treaty negotiations to begin. Similarly, a treaty that only resulted in a cut-off in the future production of fissile material would jeopardize Pakistan’s security and bring no added value to the cause of disarmament.

Pakistan, he said, stands ready to consider a treaty that covers the past production of fissile material, and has put forward a detailed Working Paper in this regard in the CD.