Pakistans nuclear capability has been security driven and not status motivated. The nuclear threat became a reality for Pakistan after Indias first nuclear test in 1974. More so, the issue of fissile material stocks stimulate Pakistans reservations about the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) negotiations. Both the 1995 Shannon Report and the 2006 draft FMCT excluded the issue of the existing stocks from the purview of the treaty and sought to control only future production of fissile material. Pakistans principal worry is its disparity with the Indian stockpile of fissile material that threatens the strategic stability in the region. Islamabad is, therefore, keen to debate across-the-board nuclear disarmament on non-discriminatory basis at the Conference on Disarmament (CD). It is proposing a Fissile Material Treaty (FMT) that should deal with the existing stocks as well as the future production. In the plenary session of CD, Pakistan has cautioned the world community that the growing international support for Indias nuclear programme will destabilise the region and force Pakistan to augment its deterrence. Pakistans Ambassador Zamir Akram sharply criticised the moves to bring India into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and other bodies that allow trade in nuclear materials. It is interesting to recall that the NSG was created in 1975 to standardise nuclear trade rules, as a reaction to Indias testing of a nuclear explosive device in 1974. To carry out that explosion, India had clandestinely diverted plutonium from a power reactor provided to it by Canada. Mr Akram aptly pointed out: Apart from undermining the validity and sanctity of the international non-proliferation regime, these measures shall further destabilise security in South AsiaAs 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. Earlier, he told journalists that Pakistan would like a treaty that deals with stocks not just future production. The US Disarmament Ambassador, Laura Kennedy, told journalists that negotiations on FMCT were a priority for Washington. We believe that this is long overdue, its a priority. And this sense of urgency is not, again, simply one of the United States, but is widely shared, Kennedy said. India, like Pakistan, is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but the extension of aggressive cooperation in the field is a classic example of creating exceptions and meting out discriminatory treatment in similar situations. It is strange that a country, which was first to introduce nuclear weapons in South Asia, is being rewarded in every possible way, but the country that has been offering concrete proposals to make the region free of nuclear weapons faces discrimination and intimidation. At this time only Pakistan, India, and probably North Korea and Israel, produce fissile material for weapons. The major nuclear powers, after having accumulated thousands of weapons, have declared unilateral moratoriums on its production. Likewise, the issue of fissile material is not very significant to any non-nuclear weapon state that is party to NPT, because these states have already abdicated their right to pursue nuclear programme for military purposes. President Barack Obamas vision of a nuclear weapons-free world is held hostage to the intricately intertwined Indian policies of nuclear security and power generation. India has piled up 1,300 tons of reactor grade fissile material churned out by its nuclear power reactors over the previous years. Reactor grade plutonium was used in one of the Indian nuclear explosions of 1998. To understand the real significance of the FMCT for Pakistan, one needs to dig deeper into Indias nuclear energy programme. Pakistans principal worry is its accumulation of reactor grade plutonium for its Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs). New Delhis rationale for accumulating such a vast inventory of reactor grade plutonium stems from its three-stage nuclear energy programme. The FBR are envisaged as the mainstay of this plan. By producing more plutonium than they consume, the FBRs provide a window for diverting surplus fissile material for weapon programmes, especially so when India has not accepted any safeguards on its reactors. They form the backbone of Indias grand plans for nuclear energy; their number would increase five times by 2020, and more than 60 times by 2050. To materialise this, India is poised to construct hundreds of FBRs that will have serious implications for the nuclear stability in the region. This conundrum has compelled Pakistan to block the negotiations on FMCT at the disarmament conference. Despite pressuring Pakistan to fall in line on the issue, the Americans know it well that the spoiler is someone else. Surprisingly, the current impasse on the treaty emanates from the most unlikely cause that is Indias nuclear energy policy, rather than its nuclear security policy. Therefore, any progress on the FMT would only be possible if India is willing to completely separate the domains of nuclear energy from that of nuclear security under an effectively verifiable regime. Pakistan looks forward to a global disarmament regime, which should be legally binding, internationally verifiable and universally acceptable. In this context, it wants to negotiate the FMT that caters for the complete elimination of all the existing stocks of nuclear fissile material on non-discriminatory basis. It also prohibits its further production. The Pakistani proposal is disarmament based in nature and is compatible with the 'Global Zero concept. Pakistans position is neither the first, nor the only example of a country, insisting in multilateral arms negotiations that its security interests be accommodated in a binding treaty. Arms control efforts over the decades have always been flexible enough to address the security concerns of participating states. The disarmament conferences work should not become hostage to one issue that is fissile material management. It should comprehensively proceed on disarmament matters; so that its work is on equal pace on all interlocked agenda issues like disarmament of outer space, negative assurances, and abolition of missile defence shields, conventional arms race, and fissile material management. Moreover, the envisaged treaty must take into account the security concerns of all states. Americas emphasis on the early adoption of controversial FMCT, in isolation, is quite unfortunate. This amounts to treating the symptoms, while ignoring the root causes. Where hard calculations of security are involved, nations have to be engaged to forge agreements; they must be neither isolated, nor coerced. The writer is a retired air commodore of Pakistan Air Force. Email: