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Nuclear-weapons state to expand its nuclear capabilities would renew an arms race: Maleeha Lodhi

30 June, 2017

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UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan told the Security Council that the declared plans by one nuclear-weapons state to expand its nuclear capabilities would renew an arms race and seriously set back global disarmament efforts.

Speaking in the Security Council debate on ‘Global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors’, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi criticised one of the P-5 states that had vowed to “greatly strengthen and expand nuclear capabilities by outmatching and outlasting potential competitors”.

“This would renew a nuclear arms race,” she warned.

She was apparently alluding to US President Donald Trump’s statement in which he had announced increasing the US defence budget recently.

Ms Lodhi argued that disarmament and non-proliferation were organically linked and criticised those nuclear-weapon states that were neither willing to give up their large inventories of nuclear weapons nor their modernisation programmes, even as they pursued non-proliferation with messianic zeal.

She pointed out that grant of discriminatory waivers to some and making exceptions out of power or profit considerations was a key challenge to non-proliferation norms and rules.

These “special arrangements”, she warned, carried obvious proliferation risks and opened up the possibility of diversion of the material intended for peaceful uses to military purposes, in addition to undermining regional strategic stability.

The envoy made a strong case for Pakistan’s NSG membership by highlighting her country’s credentials as a credible global partner in international non-proliferation efforts. She expressed Pakistan’s commitment to Security Council resolution 1540 and said that Pakistan had submitted its fifth national implementation report as a manifestation of that commitment.

She called for strengthening of the non-proliferation regime through transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria that ensured equal treatment of non-NPT applicants for the NSG’s membership.

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