WASHINGTON: Following recent reports in international media about an offer by the United States to Pakistan for restrictions on the latter’s nuclear program, Pakistan said a balanced reduction of armed forces and conventional armaments is a necessary prerequisite for meaningful disarmament.
The statement, submitted by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, which is available with media, comes amidst an animated debate in the US media about a reported US offer to Islamabad for a nuclear deal.
The proposal – first reported by the Washington Post and then by The New York Times – says that the US is ready to help Pakistan join the Nuclear Suppliers Group if it accepts certain restrictions on its nuclear program.
Pakistan’s statement, read during the general debate at the First Committee of Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, includes “fundamental prerequisites” that need to be addressed to make disarmament acceptable to all.
“There is also an urgent need for the balanced reduction of armed forces and conventional armaments,” says the document, adding that these negotiations should be conducted with particular emphasis on “militarily significant states.”
“The disturbing trend of escalation in the number and sophistication of conventional weapons has to be arrested as it has a direct relationship with the continuing reliance on nuclear weapons,” Pakistan warns.
Other such “fundamental prerequisites,” as explained by Pakistan, are:
“The principle of equality of security for all states … is an essential prerequisite for progress in areas of non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.
“The motives, which drive states to acquire weapons to defend themselves, need to be addressed. These motives include perceived threats from larger conventional or non-conventional forces, the existence of disputes and conflicts with more powerful states and discrimination in the application of international norms and laws.
“A renewed commitment needs to be demonstrated by the Nuclear Weapons states to achieve nuclear disarmament within a reasonable timeframe. The total elimination of nuclear weapons must remain the ultimate objective within the context of a reenergized collective security system.
“There is need for evolving an agreed, criteria-based and nondiscriminatory approach for the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under appropriate international safeguards, in accordance with the relevant international obligations of states.
“Pending total elimination of nuclear weapons, there is a need for provision of effective guarantees to non-nuclear weapon states against the use of nuclear weapons through the conclusion of universal, legally binding and non-discriminatory treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.
“Evolving a universal and non-discriminatory agreement for addressing concerns arising from the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems that are inherently destabilising, while being of dubious reliability.
“Strengthen the international legal regime in order to prevent the militarisation of outer space by undertaking negotiations to this effect in the CD.
“Halt the production and elimination of all existing stocks of fissile material or at least bring them under international safeguards.
“Check the development and use of cyber weapons, armed drones and Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems to bring them under international regulations.
“The regional issues that touch on nuclear and missile aspects require approaches that go beyond the traditional framework of disarmament and non-proliferation. Pakistan supports the fulfillment of international obligations by all states. It also supports the creation of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.”
Sep 28, 2016 0
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