Pakistan cautions against expansion of nuclear capabilities

Pakistan told the UN Security Council that declared plans by a nuclear-weapons state to expand its nuclear capabilities would renew an arms race and seriously setback global disarmament efforts, the media reported.

 Speaking in the Security Council debate on ‘Global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors’, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi criticised one of the P-5 states that had vowed to “greatly strengthen and expand nuclear capabilities by outmatching and outlasting potential competitors”, Dawn news reported. “This would renew a nuclear arms race,” she warned.

 She was apparently alluding to US President Donald Trump’s statement in which he had announced increasing the US defence budget.

 Lodhi argued that disarmament and non-proliferation were organically linked and criticised those nuclear-weapon states that were neither willing to give up their large inventories of nuclear weapons nor their modernisation programmes, even as they pursued non-proliferation with messianic zeal.

 She pointed out that grant of discriminatory waivers to some and making exceptions out of power or profit considerations was a key challenge to non-proliferation norms and rules.

 These “special arrangements”, she warned, carried obvious proliferation risks and opened up the possibility of diversion of the material intended for peaceful uses to military purposes, in addition to undermining regional strategic stability, reports Dawn news.

 The envoy also made a strong case for Pakistan’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership by highlighting her country’s credentials as a credible global partner in international non-proliferation efforts.

 She expressed Pakistan’s commitment to the Security Council resolution 1540 and said that Islamabad had submitted its fifth national implementation report as a manifestation of that commitment.

 She called for strengthening of the non-proliferation regime through transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria that ensured equal treatment of applicants for the NSG’s membership.



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