NEW YORK: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, speaking at a High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly Thursday called on the world community to renew the global consensus on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and promotion of cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Elaborating on this proposal, the Prime Minister said that such a consensus should be based on equity, balance, restraint and cooperation among all states and called on the General Assembly to convene a Special Session in this regard. He affirmed Pakistan’s readiness to make its contribution to this consensus-building exercise.
Mr Nawaz Sharif also drew attention to the pursuit of policies based on discrimination and double standards, underscoring that such policies have damaged the integrity of treaties and norms of non-proliferation. He called for an end to nuclear discrimination.
Outlining the salient features of Pakistan’s nuclear policy, the Prime Minister stressed its guiding principles of restraint and responsibility. He noted that Pakistan does not want an arms race in South Asia, because consequences of conflict with nuclear weapons will be horrendous. Pakistan would therefore continue to adhere to its policy of the Credible Minimum Deterrence, while remaining fully alive to the evolving security dynamics and imperatives of deterrence and strategic stability in South Asia.
He said Pakistan was compelled to carry out nuclear tests in response to the developments in our neighbourhood. It was an existential choice we made for strategic stability in our region. He said Pakistan is fully alive to the evolving security dynamics and would maintain deterrence to reinforce strategic stability in South Asia.
The Prime Minister urged the international community to reverse nuclear discrimination, with serious implications for Pakistan’s national security and in fact the global non-proliferation regime. He called for Pakistan’s inclusion in all export control regimes, including Nuclear Suppliers Group.
In the broader context of energy deficit in Pakistan, the Prime Minister called for the need to acquire energy from all sources including nuclear energy. He underscored that Pakistan fully qualifies to have full access to civil nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In this regard, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan looks forward to international cooperation in nuclear energy under IAEA safeguards.
The Non-Aligned Movement, comprising a grouping of 120 developing countries, last year took the initiative of convening this first ever High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament. Apart from several Heads of State and Government including Foreign Ministers, the President of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary General and Dr. Hassan Rouhani, as Chairman of NAM, delivered statements at the meeting.