The UN Security Council passed the US-sponsored resolution on nonproliferation and nuclear arms control and disarmament. There was euphoria all around as the media applauded the unanimity shown in the UNSC and the resolution was lauded as a move towards nuclear disarmament. What led to such applause was the shift seen to have been brought in the US position by Obama. Certainly, President Obama has moved the US away from the Bush era where arms control and disarmament measures of any type were simply ignored at best, or flouted with abandon. But many of us have been living with these periodic highs at the declaratory level on the issue of nuclear arms control and disarmament - till we realize they are merely a rhetorical fatade to hide away the growing nuclear arsenals of the nuclear weapon states. For instance, is it not strange to find that countries like Britain and France, which in reality face no military threat from anywhere, are unable to part with and destroy their nuclear arsenals? Can they not take a lead in showing the way to nuclear disarmament? As for Obama, how different is he on nuclear issues in terms of policy so far? He continues to support the Bush-sponsored US Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty draft in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, although he has spoken of a willingness to accept a verification clause. But without presenting a draft text containing this new shift, Obamas words have little credibility. This is especially so because the US has continued to flout the Shannon Mandate on how to proceed on the FMCT and is still attempting to fast track the Treaty while ignoring issues like reduction in existing stockpiles of fissile material and Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS). The issue of not touching existing stockpiles smacks of unacceptable discrimination. Obama has also shifted from opposition to Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) to modification of it. So there will be no BMD placements in Poland the Czech Republic but there will be BMD systems placed on highly mobile sea platforms to counter a largely imagined threat to Europe and the US from Iran. Of course, these ships can be moved easily from the Mediterranean to the Gulf or Indian Ocean so Pakistan would also come into this BMD target loop - again with India being helped in the development and acquisition of BMD as part of its strategic military alliance with the US. BMD has also undermined deterrence which was sustained through mutual vulnerabilities. Now BMD has focused attention on nuclear war fighting, thereby increasing the danger of nuclear weapons being used in war. Unfortunately, while Obama may call for nuclear disarmament, his policy on BMD betrays this rhetoric. As for nuclear safety, Obama has done little to reassure the world that US command and control systems are safe, in the aftermath of the August 2007 incident of USAF plane taking off with live nukes on it and no one knowing what had happened for the first few hours Obama has talked of dealing resolutely with nuclear proliferation but has done nothing to stop US proliferation to Israel. On the NPT, the UNSC resolution, based on a US draft, calls for strengthening the Non Proliferation Treaty. Yet the US continues to violate the same Treaty, including Articles I and III:2, through its implementation of the 123 Agreement with India, more commonly known as the Indo-US nuclear deal. It is in this context, that the US discriminatory approach is extremely harmful to nuclear disarmament. While Pakistans nuclear status has been artificially delinked from Indias, and its nuclear assets continue to sit uncomfortably with the US, Indias nuclear weapons development has seen no negative words emanating from the Obama Administration. At the same time, Iran has been held for special scrutiny by the Bush and Obama Administrations despite its civil nuclear cycle development rights under the NPT - which Iran continues to adhere to. Such discriminatory approaches will neither strengthen the NPT nor move the world closer to nuclear disarmament. Then there is the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which was effectively killed by the US Congress. A two-day conference on the CTBT was held on the sideline of the UNSC meeting in New York and a call went again for the Treaty to be ratified by nine critical states - the US, Israel, Egypt, Indonesia, China, Pakistan, India and North Korea. Obama is committed to pushing this through but again he has to first show the world he is serious by moving the issue before the US Congress. Until that time, it makes little sense for countries like Pakistan to preempt the situation and volunteer their signature and ratification. Under the 1973 Constitution international treaties do not have to be presented to Parliament for ratification - as is the norm in other democratic countries - but can simply be done according to the Rules of Business by the cabinet or the Prime Minister if the Cabinet gives him the mandate. This is what happened in the case of the highly intrusive Chemical Weapons Convention and may happen again unless those drafting constitutional reforms fix this anomaly also through an amendment. India is already laying the diplomatic and political grounds for more testing so it is not going to sign the CTBT in a hurry. All in all, unless some major shifts are seen to be occurring in the actual policies of the major powers, especially the US, the rhetoric on nuclear disarmament will remain a mere fatade behind which states will continue to build and update their nuclear arsenals.