Preparatory work for the forthcoming Conference on Disarmament (CoD) has come to a standstill. Pakistan has taken a very pertinent stand that its security concerns have not been addressed. It is the threat perception of each nation that drives its choice of weapon development and deployment. Threat perception may or may not be accurate, yet it is the sole factor dictating the response. It is in this context that international treaties and regimes become ineffective. That is why despite a wide-ranging international treaties on the subject, development and stock piling of all kinds of weapons continues unabated. Current attempt by the CoD to bulldoze the implementation of FMCT in isolation is likely to meet a similar fate. See how interestingly Indians have discovered after over a decade that their nuclear explosions of 1998 were a dud. Unfortunately all attempts at disarmament have been initiated and dominated by those states which have already acquired tremendous amount of destructive power through amassing such weapons. Main concern of these states has been to create hindrances in the way of horizontal proliferation so that no additional country could acquire this expertise. Adequate escape clauses are always incorporated in disarmament instruments to protect the interests of the states which already possess such weapons. On the other hand, the have-nots have always looked up to these efforts with their security concerns and hoped for halting of vertical proliferation as well. No wonder, if both horizontal as well as vertical proliferations continue. Results of non-proliferation have all along frustrated both haves as well as have-nots, for expectations of neither group have been met. Initiatives like SALT and START had adequate growth potential to expand into a universal disarmament mechanism, but their implementation remained half-hearted. Clause VI of NPT provides for universal disarmament in nuclear domain, however this statute awaits a serious attempt for its implementation. Due to lingering carry over of Cold War mindset, most of the non-proliferation initiatives continue to be victim of foot-dragging by five recognised nuclear weapon states due to their self-protectionist mindset, and their claim to the exclusiveness of the so-called nuclear club. Their inability to recognise recently emerged nuclear weapon states have detached all non-proliferation efforts from the ground realities, indeed left them hanging in a void. This has resulted in mistrust amongst various stakeholders and as a corollary, loss of interest by most of the countries in the cause of non-proliferation. Regional compulsions have added yet another dimension to the dynamics of proliferation. Half-hearted reaction against covert nuclearisation by Israel and overt nuclearisation by India in the early seventies spread a sense of insecurity and has triggered a never-ending urge of nuclearisation by the states having genuine security concerns. Once proliferation picked its momentum amongst the developing states, in the form of overt nuclear explosion by India and covert weapon development capability by Israel, the regional dynamics became the directing agents for nuclear weaponisation. In such regional settings, the conventional and nuclear balances have become so complexly enmeshed that it is no longer possible to discern them individually; these have, indeed, emerged as an interesting continuum. Therefore this situation calls for a composite disarmament solution encompassing both conventional and non-conventional regimes. Addressing the nuclear part alone would create more problems rather than resolving the existing ones. Bogie of rogue state and the fear of these weapons going in the hands of terrorist outfits may not be entirely out of place, but these are definitely being given larger than life projection to coax other states into discriminatory regimes, without really providing them a viable protective umbrella. So far all juvenile nuclear powers have behaved in a responsible way. Most of the disarmament efforts have been to erect prohibitive structures in vacuum, divorced from realties. Symptoms and not the root causes have been under focus. Hence, despite add-ons in the form of treaties, protocols, and sanctions etc, both horizontal as well as vertical proliferations have continued. Time and again it has been proved that if a nation perceives that it needs a particular type of weapon to address its security concern, it will ultimately acquire the capability irrespective of the obstructions created by the, in vogue, discriminatory non-proliferation regimes. Unless regional concerns are fully addressed, regional compulsions would continue to drive more and more states towards acquisition of nuclear weapons. Any disarmament regime needs a sound foundation to attract an appeal for its acceptance. Basic ingredients of such foundation are resolution of regional conflicts on equity basis, maintenance of overall balance and equilibrium of power, inclusive of all types of weapons, fairness of the system, assurance that nuclear weapons shall not be used against non-nuclear powers, and access to non-military usage of nuclear technology. The worked out regimes should also cover outer space. After achieving these objectives, attention should be focused on ending further R&D in the field of fissile material production and device testing etc. There is a need for a paradigm shift in the approach towards non-proliferation. Keeping in view the intricacies linking conventional and nuclear capabilities, especially in regional settings, there is a need to take a holistic approach by carrying forward the work already accomplished in related areas. As an integral part of non-proliferation framework, concrete steps should also be taken to curb numerical and technological escalations in conventional and nuclear capabilities so that composite imbalances do not assume dimensions of preponderance, whereby some stronger states are tempted to aspire for strategic overrun over their weaker neighbours. There is a need to evolve new non-proliferation instruments that would ensure the access of all nations towards peaceful utilisation of nuclear potential. Perpetuation of status quo by reinforcing of already discredited treaties would enhance the suspicion and, as a corollary, hamper the speed of elimination of weapons. Existing non-proliferation tools are indeed a spent force. As long as these continue to be operative, states would find ways and means to circumvent these. Ideally, we should strive for a nuclear weapons free world. However, such an arrangement can only be achieved and sustained through fair and just instruments. Nuclear weapon states holding the major chunk of nuclear warheads have to practically demonstrate that they are willing to part ways with their deadly possessions; only then other countries would be convinced to follow the suit. Essentially USA holds the key to disarmament, the day it starts right sizing its arsenal, rest of the world would follow The writer is a retired air officer of the Pakistan Air Force E-mail: khalid3408@gmail.com