ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Wednesday said that checks on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) should not deny legitimate quest of the developing countries to access and use strategic materials and technologies for peaceful purposes.

Speaking at the concluding ceremony of the two-day regional seminar on the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 here, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi said Pakistan advocated the need for striking the right balance between the imperatives of security and development.

“Developing countries with the requisite advanced capacities should be afforded an equal opportunity, for participation in the governance of international export control regime,” he said.

For over four decades, Fatemi said, Pakistan had developed the necessary expertise and possesses the right qualifications, to join the export control bodies.

“We have therefore, sought membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), as a mutually beneficial proposition, and as a contribution to the larger goal of non-proliferation,” he said.

The group is reviewing the legal, technical and political aspects of membership of non-members countries of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Pakistan, Fatemi said, believed that the NSG should develop and decide on credible, transparent, and non-discriminatory criteria so that membership applications of non-NPT states were treated at par.

He reaffirmed that in pursuing global non-proliferation objectives, and promoting regional as well as international security, “you will find Pakistan a strong, capable and committed partner.”

The NSG represents a group of nuclear supplier countries seeking to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports.

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.

Fatemi said that Pakistan was a strong, capable and committed partner of world community in pursuing objectives of non-proliferation and regional and international security.

He said that the two-day deliberations were designed to provide a platform for deliberations, sharing of experiences and developing ideas for collaboration.

Resolution 1540 and its successor incarnations have played an important role in raising awareness about the risks of misuse of WMDs, their means of delivery and related materials.

The 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts have developed positive synergies with states, international and regional organisations, in support of implementation objectives of the resolution.

This outreach is useful for many states.

The special assistant said that the key role of assistance and cooperation emerged as a major and cross-cutting theme during the two-day proceedings.

“For developing countries, assistance is seen as a vital enabler in the effective implementation of the obligations that the resolution entails,” he said.

Fatemi said that Pakistan was optimistic the 1540 Committee and Group of Experts would benefit from the feedback and concrete proposals as they review the existing assistance mechanisms.

“This seminar provided an important opportunity for our officials to share the wide range of measures undertaken by Pakistan in the area of export and border controls, safety and security,” he added.

Fatemi said that Pakistan was always ready to share its expertise and experience, as well as provision of technical assistance in those areas.

“We welcome the participation of international organisations in this seminar. We recognise the important role that they are playing in facilitating implementation of Resolution 1540,” he said.

The special assistant said that Pakistan encouraged those and other relevant organisations to partner with 1540 Committee and developing countries, in providing technical assistance to countries upon their request.

The dissemination of and advances in technologies as well as international trade, accompanied by risks of their unauthorised access, requires continued vigilance and collaborative efforts, he said.

Pakistan’s constructive engagement with the United Nations and contribution to the Nuclear Security Summit process, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, demonstrated the commitment towards advancement of non-proliferation goals, he added.

Meanwhile, two-member delegation of Indonesian parliament led by Dewi Coryati called on Tariq Fatemi here.

During the meeting, cooperation between the two countries in various areas was discussed, said a statement issued by the foreign ministry.

Fatemi expressed satisfaction on parliamentary-level exchanges between the two countries and appreciated Indonesia’s support for the formation of the Asian parliament.

He also briefed the dignitaries about the counter-terrorism efforts made by Pakistan and the remarkable successes achieved in this endeavour.

“This had not only made Pakistan more peaceful and stable, but also created conditions for the country to strengthen its economy and make it an ideal location for foreign investors,” Fatemi said.