India’s inclusion could affect strategic stability, Pakistan tells Nuclear Suppliers Group

FO official says NSG should adopt objective and non-discriminatory criteria for membership of non-NPT states.

A day after India received support from the United States’ for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, Pakistan cautioned the cartel of nuclear technology holders that country specific exemptions would negatively impact strategic stability in South Asia.

In order to mobilise support for Pakistan’s NSG membership, a briefing session was held in Islamabad with NSG countries’ diplomatic missions invited.

“Pakistan has the expertise, manpower, infrastructure and the ability to supply NSG controlled items, goods and services for a full range of nuclear applications for peaceful uses,” said Tasnim Aslam, head of the UN desk at the Foreign Office.

She urged the attending diplomats to adopt an objective and non-discriminatory criteria for membership of non-NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) states.

India’s membership of the NSG is “not merited until the country meets the group’s standards”, a New York Times (NYT) editorial said earlier in June.

The group’s membership has signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty but India has refused to do so, which means “it has not accepted legally binding commitments to pursue disarmament negotiations, halt the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and not test nuclear weapons”.

A key US Senator, Ed Markey, had also warned that enabling India to join the NSG would cause a “never-ending” nuclear race in South Asia.

Pakistan’s application is likely to lead to a showdown in the group which has also been facing calls to induct India as a member.

US President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that his country is backing India’s bid to join the club. China could also insist, as a condition of India’s membership, that Pakistan also be allowed to join.

The NSG, which was created in response to India’s first nuclear test in 1974, is expected to hold its next meeting in June.

The NSG is a 48-nation club dedicated to curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that could foster nuclear weapons development.

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