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Pakistan can appy for NSG: Us State Dept

29 May, 2016

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WASHINGTON: The Nuclear Supply Group will decide on India’s application for membership, a US State Department spokesman observed on Friday, further adding that any country, including Pakistan, could apply to the group.

At a regular briefing, when asked if the US State Department was confident that it had generated a consensus in NSG in favour of India, the spokesman Mark Toner stated that during his visit o India in 2015, President Barack did affirm the US view that since India had met the required missile technology control regime, it was ready for a membership

“But, it’s (NSG) a consensus body, so we will wait and see how the vote goes,” the spokesman said stating the US position. At a hearing of Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on US-India ties, this week, Senator Edward J Markey severely criticised the US efforts to support India’s membership of the NSG, describing it as a “dangerous policy”, which would only trigger a nuclear arms race in the region.

The senator said that the US was pushing for the vote in spite of the fact that there was a lack of consensus among the NSG in the case of India’s membership. He also warned that any exemptions given to India by the US for its membership would only infuriate Pakistan, and push it towards increasing its own nuclear capability. When asked about Pakistan’s application for NSG membership and the US stance on it, the spokesman stated that any country could submit its application for membership.” And we will consider it based on a consensus decision,” he said about Pakistan.

Pakistan submitted a formal application for NSG membership, last week, saying that the decision to seek a participation in the export control regime reflects its strong support for the international efforts to prevent the proliferation.

Pakistan, in the application, cited its credentials for the membership.

“Pakistan has the expertise, manpower, infrastructure, as well as the ability to supply NSG controlled items, goods and services for a full range of nuclear applications for peaceful uses,” it said.

“Pakistan attaches high priority to nuclear safety and security. It has taken legal, regulatory and administrative measures to bring nuclear safety and security at par with international standards.”

Pakistan has also stressed the need for the NSG to adopt a non-discriminatory criteria-based approach for NSG membership of the countries, which have never joined the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Both Pakistan and India have not ever joined the NPT.

Asked if the forthcoming meeting of the NSG was called by the US, the spokesman stated that any deliberation about the prospects of new members joining the NSG was an internal matter among the current members. He said that the NSG met regularly and did not believe that it was being called to particularly talk about the Indian membership.

The NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports.

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