ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Tuesday said that it would never transfer weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) to states or non-state actors.

In a keynote address at a regional seminar here on the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1540, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that as a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan would continue to work with the international community to prevent non-state actors from acquiring those weapons.

“As demonstration of this commitment, Pakistan has taken a wide range of legal, regulatory, organisational and enforcement measures, which have been reported through four national reports. Holding of this seminar was another manifestation of this commitment,” he added.

The two-day regional seminar, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, brings together 13 countries from south and central Asia, China, Russia, representatives of the 1540 Committee Group of Experts and international organisations including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Interpol.

The seminar aims to promote regional cooperation for effective national implementation of Resolution 1540 including through sharing of best practices and national experiences.

Resolution 1540, adopted by the Security Council in 2004, is one of the important instruments in the global non-proliferation architecture as it seeks to prevent non-state actors from acquiring WMDs. 

Aziz underscored the need for striking a balance between advancing the goals of non-proliferation and facilitating access of developing countries to strategic and dual use goods, materials and technologies for peaceful purposes under appropriate safeguards.

In this regard, he expressed Pakistan’s willingness to share its expertise and provision of technical assistance to developing countries in the region and beyond.

Aziz underlined that states, which possessed advanced capabilities should have an equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to the export control governance architecture.

He highlighted Pakistan’s strong credentials and expertise to become member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, while emphasising the need for a transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria for the group’s membership of non-members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Both Pakistan and India have applied to be members of the 48-member NSG that regulates global nuclear commerce.

While the US is backing India for the seat, China supports Pakistan.

Beijing maintains if India, a non-signatory to the NPT, was given membership, then Pakistan too should be taken on board.

Aziz had earlier told the parliament that Pakistan was lobbying “effectively and pro-actively” in all member countries of the NSG over India’s efforts to join the exclusive club.

He was optimistic that Pakistan’s efforts towards non-discriminatory approach would pay off.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Aziz received an Afghan media delegation comprising representatives from leading print and electronic media.

The adviser briefed the delegation about Pakistan’s continuous efforts towards peace and stability in Afghanistan stressing that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest, said a foreign ministry statement.

He emphasised the need of comprehensive bilateral engagement between the two countries to strengthen trust and confidence and for deepening mutually-beneficial cooperation in the areas of security, counter-terrorism, border management, trade, transit and voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees.

Aziz highlighted the role of media in formulating positive perceptions, which was imperative for strengthening bilateral ties, restoring trust and effectively dealing with common threats.

Afghan media delegation, while sharing Afghanistan’s perspective on the current situation, agreed on the need for frequent exchange of visits to help bring the governments and peoples of the two countries closer, added the statement.

 

 

Pakistan pledges nuclear arms responsibility