Islamabad - The Strategic Vision Institute has urged the government to continue challenging the nuclear discrimination faced by Pakistan and seek an equitable and inclusive regime in transforming global nuclear order.

This was the key recommendation coming out of a national conference on ‘International Nuclear Order’ co-hosted by Strategic Vision Institute, an Islamabad-based think tank specialising in strategic issues, and German Foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

The conference that brought together scholars, experts, think tanks and diplomats from different perspectives for deliberating on the various aspects of the International Nuclear Order offered a cross-disciplinary exploration of the politics and challenges faced by nuclear regime, whose centrepiece is the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The SVI emphasised that non-nuclear weapon states would continue to have the incentive of acquiring nuclear weapons as long as their role of nukes is not delegitimised and big powers do not stop manipulating with the non-proliferation regime for their for their political, strategic and foreign policy objectives.

The Institute further called for maintaining a credible deterrence capability against India and advised against compromising security for ‘mainstreaming’ in the nuclear order.

Former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen (Retd) Ehsanul Haq, while inaugurating the conference, hoped that as the NPT regime is reformed to deal with modern day challenges and realities, the principles of equitable security and benefit for all would be adhered to. “Pakistan has to very carefully monitor the development of the nuclear order and exercise utmost vigilance in safeguarding our legitimate interests,” he maintained. Gen Ehsan stressed that Pakistan’s diplomacy must “reflect self-confidence, based on the legitimacy of our case and the credibility of our capabilities.”

Former Permanent Representative at UN in Geneva and envoy to Conference on Disarmament, Ambassador Zameer Akram in his keynote address said that the global nuclear order had been de-stabilized to the extent that it is in disorder now.  

For having a balanced nuclear order, Amb Akram suggested resolution of political disputes; reduction in reliance on nuclear weapons for deterrence; dialogue between nuclear weapons states; and ending discriminatory policies being followed by US and other Western countries.

Director Strategic Plans Division Dr Adil Sultan cautioned that evolving global nuclear order shaped by political interests was likely to bring new challenges for Pakistan that faced existential threat from India.

Dr Sultan also challenged the myth propagated by Western think tanks and their media about Pakistan’s nuclear program being the fastest growing and said that in reality India’s arsenal was much bigger than Pakistan’s. He said the Indo-US nuclear deal freed up India’s indigenous resources for military purposes.

President SVI Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said the use of non-proliferation regime by world powers to advance their foreign policy objectives had done the greatest disservice to the cause of non-proliferation regime. Pakistan, he said, was a victim of the West’s discriminatory attitude. He said the Indo-US nuclear deal provides India with fissile material for additional 50 war heads every year by sparing their local resources. He said the brackets being proposed for mainstreaming Pakistan in the nuclear order tantamount to dismantling of its deterrence capability.

Director General Institute of Strategic Studies Ambassador Masood Khan spoke about North Korea’s nuclear program. “Nuclear and missile program of North Korea is a reality, which Pyongyang had been pursuing transparently,” he said adding other powers cannot wish it away and should restart the six party talks.