ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has called for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to establish and adhere to more objective and non-discriminatory criteria to ensure equal treatment of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) applicants for the Group’s membership.

Taking part in a debate in the UN Security Council on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, she said granting of discriminatory waivers to some states was another challenge to non-proliferation norms and rules.

Maleeha noted that such special arrangements carried obvious proliferation risks and opened up the possibility of diverting material intended for peaceful uses to military purposes.

Ambassador Maleeha said that Pakistan had taken a series of steps that fully qualify it for joining the NSG. She underscored Pakistan’s commitment to its non-proliferation obligations, saying it had been a consistent supporter of the objectives of resolution 1540 (2004), which affirms that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitute a threat to international peace and security.

In particular, the last Pakistani report submitted in May had noted its readiness to offer assistance to interested States for capacity-building, technical assistance and training in areas such as regulatory infrastructure in export controls, among others, she added.

“Pakistan’s strong credentials as an active partner in global non-proliferation efforts establish its eligibility to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),” the Pakistani envoy stressed.

Ambassador Maleeha, who was participating in a debate on efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors, said some states were neither willing to give up their large inventories of nuclear weapons nor their modernisation programmes, and were pursuing non-proliferation with “messianic zeal” while ignoring the fact that disarmament and non-proliferation were organically linked.

“Further progress may be impeded by recent developments, including one of the (five permanent members) states vowing to “greatly strengthen and expand nuclear capabilities” by outmatching and outlasting potential competitors,” Ambassador Maleeha said, adding such course would renew a nuclear arms race.

Earlier, the United Nations disarmament chief called for stronger international cooperation to prevent terrorists from accessing and using weapons of mass destruction, warning that technological advances “such as unmanned aerial vehicles, 3-D printers and the Dark Web make it easier for terrorist groups to effectively use such weapons.

“The possibility of non-state actors, including terrorists, acquiring weapons of mass destruction remains a significant threat to global security, and the international community must step up its efforts to ensure that the disastrous scenario of WMD terrorism is avoided,” Izumi Nakamitsu, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said.