Pakistan pitches again for NSG membership

New York [USA]: Pakistan has again pitched for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership after telling the UN Security Council that the exemplary measures taken by Islamabad to strengthen nuclear safety establish its eligibility credentials.

“We expect that a non-discriminatory, criteria-based approach is followed for extending NSG membership which strengthens the non-proliferation regime,” said Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, on Tuesday, reports the Dawn.

Speaking on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Lodhi said Pakistan had implemented a comprehensive export control regime, participated in the Nuclear Security Summit process, ratified the 2005 amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, declared unilateral moratorium on further nuclear testing and reiterated its willingness to translate it into a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India, all of which established its eligibility to become a NSG member.

In her remarks, she pointed out that a challenge to non-proliferation norms was the granting of ‘discriminatory waivers’, arrangements which denoted double standards and opened the possibility of diverting material intended for peaceful use to military purposes.

India and Pakistan are the two non-NPT states aspiring for the membership of the 48-member international nuclear trade body.

Many countries, including China, had opposed India’s bid to join the NSG at its last meeting citing that the later has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is the basic criteria for NSG.(ANI)