Pakistan rejects new formula for NSG membership


Baqir Sajjad Syed

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday rejected the Grossi formula for evaluation of the candidature of non-NPT states for the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s membership as ‘discriminatory’ and unhelpful for advancing global non-proliferation objectives.

At the weekly media briefing, FO spokesman Nafees Zakaria said: “This would be clearly discriminatory and would contribute nothing in terms of furthering the non-proliferation objectives of the NSG.”

Ambassador Rafael Mariano Grossi of Argentina had been appointed as a facilitator for discussions among the NSG members after Seoul plenary meeting of the 48-nation nuclear trade cartel ended in a stalemate over membership applications from India and Pakistan. The deadlock persisted at the extraordinary plenary held in Vienna last month.

AmbGrossi this month submitted a two-page revised document to the NSG member countries containing a nine-point proposal on considering the applications of India and Pakistan, both of whom are non-NPT countries. The NSG members last week again met in Vienna for discussing the document called “revised version of a draft ‘Exchange of Notes’ for Non-NPT applicants”.

Pakistan, Mr Zakaria said, continues to emphasise the imperative for a non-discriminatory criteria-based approach for the NSG membership of non-NPT states in a non-discriminatory manner. “Such a criteria-based approach will further the non-proliferation objective of the NSG as well as the objective of strategic stability in South Asia,” he said.

The spokesman reminded the NSG members of “the heavy responsibility” they bore with respect to admission of non-NPT states.

“It is important for the credibility of the NSG and the future of the non-proliferation regime that the NSG be seen as a rule-based organisation rather than a grouping which is driven by commercial and political considerations that trump its non-proliferation objectives,” he maintained.

Responding to a question about the dismal foreign policy performance of the government during 2016 and the perception of the country getting isolated, Mr Zakaria rejected the impression as “absurd”.

“How do you define isolation? If isolation is that a country is at loggerheads with you and campaigns against you being isolated, do you really get isolated? One should look at the bigger picture in the larger context in which things are happening. Look at the high political visits to Pakistan and our leadership’s visits to the important capitals. Assess the political developments that are taking place in terms of important relationships that major powers are developing with Pakistan. Look at Pakistan’s economic indicators and the progress Pakistan has achieved,” the spokesman said.

Ship attack: Mr Zakaria said deaths of Pakistani sailors in an alleged attack on an Iranian vessel MV Jouya off the coast of Yemen could not be verified as yet. Efforts for authenticating the news, he said, were continuing.