Islamabad: Pakistan was ready for an agreement with India on bilateral moratorium on nuclear non-testing, the country’s top diplomat said. “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 Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said.
Briefing the media about the Envoys’ Conference held last week, Aziz said the meeting noted that Pakistan consistently supported the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and voted for it when it was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1996.
Noting that the conference held detailed talks on the Pakistan’s application for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and regional nuclear stability issue, Aziz said Pakistan is one of the applicants, along with India, for NSG membership.
“While Pakistan’s formal application for NSG membership was submitted on May 19, 2016, 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.
He said 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.
“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.
He 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.