Pakistan warns against growing international support for India’s nuclear programme

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

GENEVA - Pakistan has warned that growing international support for India’s nuclear programme would force Islamabad to bolster its deterrence and destabilise the region.

In the opening session of the 2011 Conference on Disarmament, Pakistan’s Ambassador Zamir Akram sharply criticised the reported moves to bring India into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other bodies, which allow trade in nuclear materials including weapons.

“Apart from undermining the validity and sanctity of the international non-proliferation regime, these measures shall further destabilise security in South Asia,” the Daily Times quoted Akram, as saying.

“As a consequence, Pakistan will be forced to take measures to ensure the credibility of its deterrence. The cumulative impact would be to destabilise the security environment in South Asia and beyond,” he added.

Akram said that Pakistan maintained its opposition to negotiations on a ban on the production of new nuclear bomb-making material, a lone public stance that had blocked the Conference on Disarmament despite pressure from major powers.

In May 2009, nuclear powers broke more than a decade of deadlock by agreeing on a work plan at the world’s only multilateral arms control forum, which can only take decisions unanimously.

The plan included full negotiations on a fissile material ban, as well as talks on nuclear disarmament, the arms race in space and security assurances for non-nuclear states.

However, the disarmament conference has slumped back into a deadlock since then, as Pakistan raised fresh objections. “We believe that we need to build a capacity that is a credible deterrence at the lowest levels,” Akram explained, adding that Pakistan would nonetheless not seek to entirely match India’s nuclear capability.

He also told journalists that Pakistan “would like a treaty that deals with stocks not just future production”. (ANI)

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