- Minister of State for Foreign Affairs says Pakistan remains committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world
Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday voiced her concern over the “generous” supply of conventional and non-conventional weapons to the “largest country in the region”, saying it was severely straining South Asia’s strategic stability, and threatening “our national security”.
“The largest country in the region continues to be a beneficiary of nuclear exceptionalism, in violation of established non-proliferation norms and principles,” she told a high-level UN panel — without naming India — by video link from Islamabad.
“This country also remains a net recipient of generous supplies of advanced conventional and non-conventional weapons, technologies, and platforms,” the minister added.
Khar was addressing the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament, a 65-member forum established by the international community to negotiate arms control and disarmament agreements, which began its session on Thursday.
The minister said that the favours being done to India were straining the security environment as she heightened 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.
Emphasising 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 a peaceful neighborhood on the basis of universally agreed principles, sovereign equality, and undiminished security for all States, no threat or use of force and pacific settlement of disputes.
“We will pursue the path of peace, development, and strategic stability in South Asia and beyond, I can assure you of that.”
Pakistan, she said, regards the Conference on Disarmament as an indispensable part of the global security architecture and the disarmament machinery.
Noting with concern the decades-long impasse in the Conference, Ms. Khar said its 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.
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 applying equally to all States.
The minister proposed that the Conference on Disarmament must contribute to and promote security at international and regional levels; play its role in creating conditions that were responsive to the principle of inalienable right to equal security by all States; adhere to disarmament measures in an equitable and balanced manner; its members refrain from grant of special exemptions and by fulfilling their longstanding disarmament obligations, and It must be enabled to overcome its decades-long impasse by the patient and constructive engagement.
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.