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Pakistan refuses to sign NPT

Pakistan on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to nuclear disarmament in a way that promoted peace, security and stability at the regional and global levels, but said it refused to sign the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations as the treaty did not fulfill these essential conditions – both in terms of process and substance.

The treaty was adopted by a vote on July 7, 2017 in New York, but would only come into effect 90 days after it had been signed and ratified by at least 50 countries. The treaty will be open for signature to all states at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2017.

However, the UN at the time said that a number of countries stayed out of the negotiations, including the United States, Russia and other nuclear-weapon states, as well as many of their allies. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) did not join the talks either.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France said they “have not taken part in the negotiation of the treaty… and do not intend to sign, ratify or even become party to it …as it disregards the realities of the international security environment”.

Pakistan’s position remains that it does not consider itself bound by any of the obligations enshrined in this treaty as it neither forms a part of, nor contributes to the development of customary international law in any manner.

“Treaties that do not fully take on board the interests of all the stakeholders fail to achieve their objectives. Pakistan, therefore, like all the other nuclear armed states, did not take part in its negotiation and could not become a party to this treaty,” the spokesman at the Foreign Office said while in response to a query.

If ratified it would become the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons and totally eliminate them.For those nations that are party to it, the treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement to the prohibited activities. For nuclear armed states joining the treaty, it provides for a time-bound framework for negotiations leading to verified and irreversible elimination of its nuclear weapons programme.

“Pakistan is committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world through the conclusion of a universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory, comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons. The Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD), the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating body, remains the most ideal forum for concluding such a convention”, added the spokesman.

Giving details, he said 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, if not increased security for all states. It is indispensable for any initiative on nuclear disarmament to take into account the vital security considerations of each and every state,” explained the spokesman.

By Mariana Baabar

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