Pakistan is ready to formally engage with NSG: DG SASSI Dr. Maria Sultan

Islamabad, June 09, 2017 (PPI-OT): Pakistan is ready to formally engage with the Group for presenting our detailed credentials (its export control and management regime, its nuclear supplier capabilities and the history of its engagement with NSG) for participating in NSG, says DG SASSI, Dr. Maria Sultan.

At the eve of extra-ordinary plenary of NSG held on June at Vienna, SASSI organized a seminar on NSG – Industry outreach. It was attended by a number of experts, officials of the concerned government ministries and departments, policy researchers, industry representatives and media personnel who discussed the issues, challenges, and priorities of Pakistan’s energy sector at length. Also attending were Mr. Khalid Iqbal Malik, President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Dr. Maria Sultan, Chairperson and DG (SASSI) gave a presentation on “Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) Criteria Based Approach and its Implications on High-Tech Trade: A Case for Pakistan’s membership”.

She mainly discussed three aspects including NSG guidelines, its impact on India and Pakistan, brief review of Pakistan’s credentials and India’s credentials. Describing the situation she said that NSG stands at the fork in the non-proliferation road once again as it considers membership for non-NPT states. An even handed and non-discriminatory approach by NSG at this juncture would be of far-reaching significance for global non-proliferation efforts.

The presentation at SASSI described the case of Pakistan’s application for membership of NSG in detail. The presentation highlighted that India does not fulfil the conditions which are mandatory for NSG’s membership which includes: Separation of Military and Civilian fuel cycle, Placement of all civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, Indian fast breeder reactor program, Independent regulatory authority, Export control regulations, Illicit procumbent, Illicit trafficking and procumbent Diversion of civil nuclear assistance for weapon use.

While discussing the Dismal Nuclear Safety Record, Dr. Maria highlighted the several nuclear incidents and few accidents over the years i.e. Mayapuri Radiation Accident in West Delhi in 2010 which was of Level 4 on International Nuclear and Radiation Event Scale (INES), eight people were hospitalized as a result of radiation exposure, and later one died. While Pakistan has good record of Non-Proliferation Credentials, Current Nuclear Energy Production, Nuclear Power Reactors Under Construction and Planned Safety And Security of Nuclear Power Plants.

Dr. Maria said that no matter how much India wants to enter a different league, the fact is that fact remains that our cases remain hyphenated. If India resolves outstanding disputes and stands with Pakistan as an equal regional partner only then can it seek to address its ‘prestige complex.’ She gave details of Indian nuclear facilities, India’s nuclear power reactors under construction, India Nuclear Helpers, and Indian entities sanctioned by US. While talking about Pakistan’s engagement with NSG, she said that Pakistan’s engagement with NSG predates 2003 and since 2011 concerted efforts are aimed at NSG membership, and outreach meetings with NSG were arranged in 2011 (Vienna), 2013 (Ankara), 2015 (Vienna).

She said that NSG’s 48 participating governments should adopt a non-discriminatory approach on the question of NSG membership for non-NPT states rather than the creation of another country-specific exemption. Pakistan wants simultaneous entry into the Group with other non-NPT States that aspire to participate in the Group. This would require a fair and simultaneous consideration of the two membership applications submitted by the non-NPT states.

Such a fair and unbiased approach would go a long way in making NSG a more effective platform to prevent nuclear proliferation. She said that it would also contribute to strategic stability in the Subcontinent and wider region and advance the non-proliferation efforts. It would show to the people of Pakistan that some particular states are not monopolizing high-end technologies under the garb on non-proliferation. Also, that the world stands with people of Pakistan in their sustainable development rather than imposing a technological and political apartheid.

She concluded that Pakistan has been engaged with NSG for almost a decade and is now ready to formally engage with the Group for presenting our detailed credentials (its export control and management regime, its nuclear supplier capabilities and the history of its engagement with NSG) for participating in NSG.

For more information, contact:
Senior Program Coordinator,
South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)
Street 1, House # 427, F-11/1, Islamabad – 44000, Pakistan
Tele: + (92) 51 22-90-917, + (92) 51 22-91-061
Fax: + (92) 51 21-03-479
Email: aisha@sassu.org.uk/sassi.coord@gmail.com