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Expert regrets stalemate on membership of non-NPT states

An expert on nuclear issues has regretted the continuing stalemate at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the issue of admitting states, which are not the signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

President Strategic Vision Institute Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema, while speaking at a webinar hosted by SVI, said, “the (membership) applications of India and Pakistan are lying dormant since there has been no contemporary discussion on the subject matter.”

Pakistan and India had applied for the membership of NSG in 2016. Since then there has been little progress on the matter.

Dr. Cheema elaborated the division at NSG where on side are the countries supporting the ‘merit-based policy’, which can also be called a ‘country specific’ approach favouring India, while on the other side were the countries that are calling for adoption of a ‘criteria-based approach’, according which there should be a fixed politico-legal criteria that any state aspiring for NSG membership should fulfill before being allowed to join.

Ambassador (Retd) Tariq Osman Hyder, speaking on this occasion, said that Pakistan government should have discussed the issue of NSG membership with the United States in its discussions on peace efforts for Afghanistan.

He said that he was disappointed at not seeing this issue in the readouts on recent talks with US. Dr. Rizwana Karim Abbasi, head of the International Relations Department at National University of Modern Languages, said it is in NSG’s interest to have Pakistan in the group in view of the size of its program.

Published in Pakistan Observer on July,1 2021

The Webinar is also covered by

  1. Dawn
  2. Pakistan Observer
  3. DND

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