Pakistan’s Case for Nuclear Suppliers Group

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Members of the NSG seek to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, by stipulating that they are only to be used for peaceful purposes. Therefore, the South Asian quest for nuclear materials potentially poses serious threat to the credibility of the non-proliferation regime. To make available NSG membership to a country such as India, a non-Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) member state is similar to offering it de jure nuclear weapon state status. The conclusion is that international norms are driven by politics rather than morals; powerful states enjoy the lures of proliferation under legal emblem by virtue of powerful allies, while small states are bound by their commitments to non-proliferation. India is a non NPT member state; the potential for its inclusion in the NSG is a challenge to the non-proliferation regime.

Pakistan’s Case:

Pakistan can make a good case for an enhanced status in the NSG and for expanded use of nuclear energy for a number of reasons. The country allows all its reactors to be certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and has good record of restricting the proliferation of nuclear material. Also, Pakistan is facing acute shortages of electricity, something that wider use of nuclear power could help alleviate. NSG membership would be an essential part of this as it will help it meet its energy requirements at the cheapest cost. The continuous shortfall of electricity is causing joblessness, economic downfall, frustration and terrorism which may has the domino effect in the region. The Indian case is opposite; NSG was formed in response to Indian nuclear test ‘Smiling Buddha’. Similarly, India has not fulfilled its commitment with United States on Fissile Material Cut off Treat (FMCT). India has a bad record of proliferation along with the long list of nuclear thefts.

Policy Options for Pakistan:

  • Pakistan should not sign any NWFZ (Nuclear-weapon-free zone) treaty as they are not competent with the strategic interest of Pakistan.
  • Pakistan can negotiate with India in order to settle the criteria for NSG membership for both states.
  • Pakistan should continue trade relations with neighbouring states, especially China which can help it meet its energy requirements.
  • Pakistan should actively lobby for the membership in Nuclear Supplier Group through diplomatic engagements with different countries.
  • In the changing nature of world order, where the focus of great power is on Asia-Pivot Policy, Pakistan should not rely solely on China or United States. The binary way of leading its foreign relations may not be in the superlative interest of Pakistan.
  • In case India is given the NSG membership first, it would halt Pakistan’s entry into the group. Keeping this in mind, Pakistan should continue lobbying against the Indian membership of NSG.
  • Last but the most important option for Pakistan is to submit proposed criteria for its membership in NSG as soon as possible.

Outlook:

Pakistan is in need of the redundant energy sources to meet its energy requirement. The continuous shortfall is causing Joblessness, economic downfall, frustration and increase in terrorism. The admission of Pakistan and India in nuclear supplier group depends upon the great power politics. If India is allowed to join the NSG, it will be discriminatory and it will create strategic imbalance in South Asia. However the admission of any non NPT state as a new NSG member will affect the credibility of the non-proliferation regime. The merit based membership criteria will increase the efficiency and credibility of the non-proliferation regime, which is less likely to happen.

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