Pakistan warns against India nuclear support
26 January, 2011
GENEVA: Pakistan warned on Tuesday that growing international support for rival Indiaâ€™s nuclear programme would force Islamabad to bolster its deterrence and destabilise the region.
In the opening session of the 2011 Conference on Disarmament, Pakistanâ€™s ambassador Zamir Akram sharply criticised reported moves to bring its neighbour into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other bodies that allow trade in nuclear materials, including for weapons.
â€śApart from undermining the validity and sanctity of the international non-proliferation regime, these measures shall further destabilise security in South Asia,â€ť Akram said.
â€śAs 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,â€ť he told the conference.
He said Pakistan maintains its opposition to negotiations on a ban on the production of new nuclear bomb-making material, a lone public stance that has blocked the Conference on Disarmament despite pressure from major powers.
US disarmament ambassador Laura Kennedy told journalists last week that negotiations on a ban, a Fissile Material Cut off Treaty (FMCT), were a priority for Washington.
â€śWe believe that this is long overdue, itâ€™s a priority. And this sense of urgency is not, again, simply one of the United States, but is widely shared,â€ťKennedy said.
Akram earlier told journalists that Pakistan â€śwould like a treaty that deals with stocks not just future production.â€ť
Nuclear powers broke more than a decade of deadlock in May 2009 by agreeing on a work plan at the worldâ€™s only multilateral arms control forum, which can only make 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 deadlock since then, as Pakistan raised fresh objections.
â€śWe believe that we need to build a capacity that is a credible deterrence at the lowest levels,â€ť Akram explained earlier, adding that Pakistan would nonetheless not seek to entirely match Indiaâ€™s nuclear capability.