WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani has stepped up efforts to gain support of the Obama administration, US lawmakers and American think-tank for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The Ambassador has approached the White House, the State Department, important Congressional leaders and significant think-tanks and opinion makers in the US to build a case for Pakistan and seek their support for the membership.
The group in June turned down India’s request for membership after opposition by China and several other countries, despite support from the Obama administration.
A leading senator, Edward J. Markey, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and lawmaker from President Obama’s Democratic Party had severely criticized the administration for supporting India’s bid, saying making exemptions for New Delhi for getting membership was a ‘dangerous policy’ and would infuriate Pakistan.
In his meeting with US government officials and Congressmen, Ambassador Jilani is building Pakistan’s case for NSG membership around the country’s unambiguous commitment to the international objectives of the nuclear non-proliferation and robust command and control systems of its civilian nuclear program.
“The Ambassador has also assured the US leadership that Pakistan shares the international concerns against proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery. Pakistan’s inclusion in the NSG would be the right decision to enhance international security,” embassy officials said.
It has been emphasized that Pakistan’s membership in the NSG would not only go a long way in strengthening the international non-proliferation regime, but also help Pakistan enhance its capabilities in harnessing peaceful uses of nuclear technology for the country’s burgeoning population of almost 200 million people, including in the fields of health, agriculture and power generation.
Pakistan, as one of the founding members of the IAEA, has actively contributed to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in negotiating multilateral arms control and disarmament instruments on the principle of equal and undiminished security for all.
Pakistan has also instituted elaborate export control regime, legislative framework and comprehensive regulatory and administrative measures.
Pakistan’s Export Control Lists are in harmony with those of the NSG, Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Australia Group.
Because of a ‘catch-all’ clause and licensing requirements in the export control law, there is no possibility of export of non-listed items that could be used in making WMDs or their delivery systems.
By declaring unilateral adherence to NSG guidelines, Pakistan has further aligned itself with the global non-proliferation standards.
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