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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan does not consider itself bound by any of the obligations enshrined in Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which came into force on Jan 22, Foreign Office (FO) declared on Friday.

Commenting on entry into force of the treaty, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri reiterated Pakistan’s position with regard to the treaty saying “Pakistan stresses that this treaty neither forms a part of, nor contributes to the development of customary international law in any manner.”

“Accordingly, Pakistan does not consider itself bound by any of the obligations enshrined in this treaty,” the spokesperson added.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted in July 2017, was negotiated outside the established UN disarmament negotiating forums, he said.

He added that none of the nuclear-armed states, including Pakistan, took part in the negotiations of the treaty which failed to take on board the legitimate interest of all the stakeholders.

Many non-nuclear armed states have also refrained from becoming parties to the treaty, he stated.

The spokesperson pointed out that the United Nations General Assembly, at its first special session devoted to nuclear disarmament in 1978, had agreed by consensus that in the adoption of disarmament measures, the right of each State to security should be kept in mind, and at each stage of the disarmament process the objective would be undiminished security for all states at the lowest possible level of armaments and military forces.

“Pakistan believes that this cardinal objective can only be achieved as a cooperative and universally agreed undertaking, through a consensus-based process involving all the relevant stakeholders, which results in equal and undiminished security for all States,” he said.

He asserted that it is indispensable for any initiative on nuclear disarmament to take into account the vital security considerations of each and every State.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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