Pakistan concerned over supply of conventional-non-conventional weapons to India


GENEVA: Pakistan has voiced concern over the “generous” supply of conventional and non-conventional weapons to India, saying it was severely straining South Asia’s strategic stability , and threatening “our national security”.

In a video link address from Islamabad Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar was addressing the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament, a 65-member forum established by the international community to negotiate arm control and disarmament agreements, which began its session on Thursday.

Khar told the high-level UN panel “the largest country in the region continues to be a beneficiary of nuclear exceptionalism, in violation of established non-proliferation norms and principles.” “This country also remains a net recipient of generous supplies of advanced conventional and non-conventional weapons, technologies and platforms,” the minister added. The minister said that the favours being done to India were straining the security environment; heightening risks to peace and stability in the region; reinforcing a sense of impunity in the recipient state and freezing pathways to conflict resolution through peaceful means. “Even as we adhere to and call for restraint and responsibility, we cannot ignore threats to our security,” she told delegates from around the world.

Emphasizing that a third of humanity that lives in South Asia deserves investments in sustainable peace and development, the minister said Pakistan had a clear vision and a policy for peaceful neighbourhood on the basis of universally agreed principles. “We will pursue the path of peace, development and strategic stability in South Asia and beyond, I can assure you of that.”

In this regard, Ms. Khar said Pakistan had proposed a ‘Fissile Material Treaty’ seeking to craft a new mandate for the treaty stipulating explicitly in its scope fissile material stocks, and applicable equally to all States. The minister proposed that the Conference on Disarmament must contribute to and promote security at international and regional levels. Pakistan, she added, remained committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons free world that was achieved in a universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory manner.

Pakistan, she said, regards the Conference on Disarmament as an indispensable part of the global security architecture and the disarmament machinery. Noting with concerns the decades-long impasse in the Conference, Ms. Khar said it’s ability to start negotiations on its agenda items remains contingent on the policy priorities of its members, their threat perceptions and their core national security concerns. About some members’ insistence on pursuing self-serving and cost-free proposals such as banning the future production of fissile materials, she said the subject should be discussed in all its dimensions.

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