While the United States has tried to push India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on more than one occasion, another supposed ally of America, Pakistan, has had to regularly issue statements about the safety of its nuclear assets. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry reiterated the government’s stance at a nuclear security summit yet again on Thursday, which is unsurprising given that many international observers have posed questions in the past. While militancy had become a major problem in the past few years, the nuclear arsenal of the country remains as safe as it ever was. What then, is the purpose achieved by this marked difference between two allies of the US?

The answer of course, lies in India’s burgeoning markets and its relevance in countering China’s increasing power. But with all of that in mind, the problem with India joining the NSG while refusing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is that Pakistan, its greatest rival, also a nuclear power, is not granted a seat at the same table. The two countries essentially developed their nuclear arsenal as a counter to the other, and Pakistan’s refusal to sign the NPT or to rollback its nuclear arsenal is a reaction to the attitude of its neighbour.

Pakistan has always maintained that it will sign the NPT the moment India does, while the latter has made no such promise. If India is granted more preferential treatment than it already gets, the international community is further alienating a country that is not only a nuclear power but is also at the front-lines of the global war on extremism and militancy.

There are lacunas still present naturally; there are still extremist groups that continue their fund-raising activities and organise rallies for their supporters; whether the state ignores these because it sees them as toothless or due to darker intentions is still debatable. However, the efforts of the security forces in direct operations along the border and in the agencies have proved to be fruitful, even according to impartial observers. Anyone that claims that Pakistan nuclear assets are unsafe because of terrorism is ignorant about the political setup and security structure of Pakistan. Foreign assumptions that Pakistan is a failed or rogue state come from a lack of knowledge of our region.

It is time the world takes notice of these facts. Pakistan needs support from the global community in its efforts to combat terrorism, and the unnoticed sacrifices of our people need to be brought into the spotlight. The US, with military presence in Afghanistan and as a key ally of India, has the ability to bridge this gap and knows that if it issues its trust in Pakistan’s efforts, the rest of the world will not be far behind.