ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday said it is ready to have a bilateral arrangement with India on a establishing a moratorium on nuclear non-testing.
“We have declared a unilateral moratorium on further testing. Pakistan is prepared to consider translating its unilateral moratorium into a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, as saying in a statement.
Aziz briefing media about the Envoys’ Conference held from Aug 1-3, said that Islamabad has consistently supported the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and voted for the Treaty when it was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1996.
“The issue of NSG membership cannot be separated from the consideration of strategic stability in the region. In 2008, the NSG missed an opportunity to promote simultaneous adherence to non-proliferation benchmarks by Pakistan and India, as a part of a package deal, which would have promoted restraint and stability in the region,” he added.
He also highlighted about Pakistan's formal application for NSG membership which was submitted on May 19, 2016, saying, “We had been preparing for it for quite some time. Our efforts to upgrade our export controls, nuclear safety and security long pre-date our application.”
He said that even prior to the formal filing of NSG application, Pakistan have been undertaking extensive diplomatic efforts to win support for its bid for mainstreaming in the multilateral export control regimes.
“Our strong lobbying efforts have yielded positive results. Our arguments for criteria-based approach, and the impact of any India-specific exemption on the strategic stability in South Asia and on the future of non-proliferation regime, have been accepted by several NSG countries,” he said.
The top diplomat added that Pakistan’s candidacy is based on a desire to strengthen global non-proliferation regimes, the need for strategic stability and level playing field in South Asia, priority for socio-economic development and technological advancement of the country, and capability to supply items on NSG lists Part 1 and 2.
Aziz said Pakistan is confident of the merits of its membership application as its export controls were harmonized with those of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Australia Group.
He concluded saying that Pakistan formally invited NSG Troika to visit Islamabad for a detailed briefing on our credentials.