July 08, 2017
NSG memberships: Pakistan to accept non-discriminatory conditions
ISLAMABAD: With the most recent convention of the 48-member Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG), ending without a decision on either Pakistan or India’s bid for gaining membership of the exclusive club, experts in Islamabad on Friday said Pakistan was ready to accept all non-discriminatory requirements of the club.
This was stated by the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General (retd) Ehsanul Haq while speaking at a conference organised by the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS) while discussing the recent NSG plenary session held in Bern, Switzerland.
Gen Haq said that, while the issue was taken up during the meeting and participating governments agreed to continue deliberations on the matter, no formal decision was taken on granting membership to either Islamabad or New Delhi.
“We can be flexible as long as it does not infringe our red flags.” General (retd) Ehsanul Haq.
However, the NSG is expected to convene for an informal meeting in Vienna in November this year to further discuss criteria for Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) states to join the NSG.
“Pakistan has been pursuing NSG membership to bring itself into the mainstream as a country with nuclear capability and gain access to technological advancements,” Gen Haq said as he went on to explain what Islamabad was willing to do for the membership.
“We can be flexible as long as it does not infringe on our red flags,” the former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence said.
The former CJCSC also warned against the continued stigmatisation of the country, especially over Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan scam.
“Pakistan has a very good record on export controls and safety and security,” he said, adding, “We cannot be in perpetual punishment and banishment for the Dr AQ Khan affair. We are past that by more than a decade and a half and we undertook some very stringent measures.”
Khalil Hashmi, the director general of the Foreign Office’s Arms Control and Disarmament Division, noted that the enthusiasm and urgency surrounding discussions on finalising a process for admitting states that are not signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) had slowed down from 2016.
“Hard reality has dawned” on some NSG members that the process cannot be short-circuited, he said.
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