Pak blocks FMCT, warns against India nuclear support

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D Ravi Kanth

Geneva, Dec 25 (PTI) Protesting against the NSG waiver toIndia, Pakistan today blocked negotiations on Fissile MaterialCut-off Treaty (FMCT), describing the move as "discriminatory"that will help New Delhi stockpile bomb- making nuclearmaterials.

Speaking at the the United Nations Conference onDisarmament here, Pakistan''s Ambassador Zamir Akram said the"discriminatory waiver" provided by the Nuclear SuppliersGroup (NSG) will help India to stockpile bomb-making nuclear(fissile) materials.

The NSG waiver, Akram said, "will further accentuate theasymmetry in fissile materials stockpiles in the region, tothe detriment of Pakistan''s security interests."

For the last two years, Pakistan nearly blockedany progress in the FMCT negotiations.

It maintained that "selective and discriminatoryaction of certain states in violation of their own nationaland international commitments, in pursuit of profit" hastilted the nuclear balance in favour of India.

Without naming the United States, Pakistan''s envoysaid "one of the major powers has gone a step further byannouncing its intention in November 2010 to support ourneighbour''s full membership in the four multilateral controlregimes -- the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile TechnologyControl Regime, Australia Group and the WassenaarArrangement."

"Clearly this irresponsible undertaking raises severalissues," said Akram, pointing how major nuclear powers haveundermined the nuclear-Non Proliferation Agreement toaccommodate India.

Akram had told reporters last week that Islamabad willnot accept the nuclear Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT)in its current form as it would enable India to increase itsnuclear warheads at a rate of 40 per year following the waivergranted to New Delhi by the United States and other westerncountries.

Over the last 10 years, the Conference on Disarmament(CD) is nearly paralysed as it is unable to negotiate anymajor nuclear arms treaty.

Pakistan has blocked negotiations on arriving at averifiable FMCT on the ground that it would not address theissue of current bomb making nuclear stocks possessed by Indiaand other countries.

"Our opposition to the FMCT is due to the asymmetry inthe current proposal," Ambassador Akram told reporters,suggesting that it would enable India to divert its currentstock of nuclear fissile material towards military use.

"This asymmetry is further worsened following thecivilian nuclear agreement signed by India, the United States,and IAEA, as it would enable India to increase the number ofwarheads to 40 per year in which civilian nuclear fuel couldbe used for military purposes as India did in the past fromthe Tarapore reactor," he told reporters. .

US President Barak Obama''s recent visit to India has added a new dimension to FMCT as India will now be allowedto join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, MTCR (Missile TechnologyControl Regime) and other international arrangements, Akramsaid.

"It is ironic that the Nuclear Suppliers Group wascreated after India''s first nuclear test in 1974," saidAmbassador Akram, suggesting that India would now befacilitated to become a member in these special arrangementswithout having to join the NPT (non-nuclear proliferationtreaty).

When asked whether Pakistan is "tainted" by it''s AQ Khan who was allegedly responsible for illegal transfer ofnuclear material to Libya and Iran and whether it would not beadmitted to these arrangements despite being close toWashington, Ambassador Akram said "we are tainted because weare seen close to China."

He said Pakistan is continuing to build two smallreactors with the technical assistance from China and willalso pursue "credible deterrence" policy that will not "matchIndia missile to missile or war head to war head." PTI DRK

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