A round table discussion was organized by the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS) Islamabad titled” Pakistan and the Nuclear Suppliers group” on June 22th 2016 at the Centers’ conference room in Islamabad. The objective of the event was to analyze recent developments regarding the ongoing nuclear supplier’s group plenary meeting, its political and legal dynamics, inclusion of India in NSG and implications for Pakistan and the global nuclear non proliferation regime.
Former Pakistani Ambassador to Geneva and UN conference on Disarmament (CD) Ambassador Zamir Akram , Senior Research Fellow CISS Dr Naeem Salik and Brigadier Zahir Kazmi from SPD were the speakers at the round table.
Dr Naeem Salik said that it is ironic that US is going out of their way to bring India into the NSG. It was one of the openly stated objectives of US Foreign Policy. Dr Salik was of the view that India’s membership would mean that Pakistan would be barred from membership into NSG forever.
Ambassador Zamir Akram argued that Pakistan is as good as India regarding membership in NSG as far as merit is concerned. Ambassador Zamir said that Pakistan has robust safety and security measures and it has been one of proponents of CTBT. Regarding FMCT negotiations he said that in its current form is at most a non-proliferation, without taking into account the existing nuclear material. Ambassador Zamir pointed out that Pakistan has been proposing in the Geneva Convention on nuclear disarmament to look at the issue of existing nuclear stocks while negotiating the FMCT treaty.
Brigadier Zahir Kazmi from SPD pointed out that NSG will have far-reaching repercussions on the global level and for nuclear non proliferation regime. Kazmi said that India’s case is hyphenated with Pakistan’s and for India it becomes a matter of prestige and the reason why India finds it hard to accept it. He argued that denial for Pakistan regarding the NSG would be apartheid and would be seen as a message to the people of Pakistan from some in the international community that they do not want us to progress.
Explaining Pakistani objectives vis a vis the NSG , Brigadier Kazmi said that Pakistan wants simultaneous membership in the group with the rest of the applicants (India). He also disagreed with the impression that Pakistan’s diplomacy was “too little too late” and said that Pakistan been engaged with the process for a long time now and has undertaken adequate diplomacy on the top level on this issue.
Executive director CISS Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi in his opening remarks said that NSG has to do with civilian nuclear programme and with access to civilian nuclear tech, India would be able to divert its other indigenous nuclear material towards its weapons programme and that is what has been bothering Islamabad.
Round table was well attended by researchers, former ambassadors, Pakistani policy-makers and media personnel.