Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize1

The Nuclear Suppliers Group is a multilateral export control regime and a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. It was founded in response to the Indian nuclear test in 1974. In May 2016, Pakistan formally applied for NSG membership.

wants to access nuclear technology through the membership of the NSG to meet
the rising demand of electricity through nuclear energy. Pakistan has the
credentials that entitle it to becoming a member of all multi-lateral strategic
export control regimes, including the NSG. Moreover, Pakistan has the
expertise, manpower and infrastructure, as well as the ability to supply NSG
controlled items, goods and services for a range of nuclear applications for
peaceful uses.

has all the credentials that make it eligible to be an NSG member state.
Pakistan is party to several international nonproliferation and disarmament
related arrangements. It has a robust and comprehensive export control regime
and has an independent and autonomous regulatory body. Pakistan cooperates
internationally with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the CERN and the
SESAME to explore the peaceful application of nuclear technology. Pakistan is
one of the few states in the world to operate a complete nuclear fuel cycle.

It is
benefiting from several applications of nuclear technology, which include
agriculture, medicine, environment protection, power production. Pakistan is in
a position to provide nuclear fuel cycle services under the IAEA safeguards.
The establishment of the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology
was aimed at conducting research in various nuclear fields to gain knowledge
and experience, providing guidance and leadership in technological development
for the peaceful application of nuclear energy, and providing radioisotopes and
radio-pharmaceuticals to meet the need of nuclear medical centres and industry
research institutes.

Atomic Energy Commission gives high priority to the application of nuclear
technology in health sector. Through its 18 medical centres all over the
country, patients receive state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment facilities
either free of charge or at subsidised rates. Pakistan also has four
agricultural services centres that use nuclear technology for agriculture.

All responsible
states should consider Pakistan’s membership into the NSG on the basis of
transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria. The Strategic Exports
Control Division of Pakistan is involved in making rules and regulations; it
also reviews the Control Lists. The SECDIV maintains comprehensive Export
Control Lists, formulated in 2005, which have catchall provisions incorporated
in them.

enables the government to monitor control export, re-export, trans-shipment,
transit of goods, technologies, material and equipment that may contribute to
the designing, development, production, stockpiling, maintenance or use of
nuclear and biological weapons and their delivery systems. Pakistan’s CLs
classification is based on the Europe Union model. The review of CLs is done on
regular basis. Currently, Pakistan’s CLs are in complete harmony with the
control lists maintained by the NSG, Missile Technology Control Regime, and
Australian Group.

has the ability to supply nuclear items covered in the NSG guidelines. It has
more than 42 years’ experience in safe and secure operation of nuclear power
plants under IAEA safeguards. Its Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Security in
partnership with the IAEA already serves as a regional and international hub
for nuclear security training.

has been operating the Canadian supplied Karachi Nuclear Power Plant
independently since 1974. Pakistan has a tremendous amount of experience with
application of nuclear technology other than for power generation. It can
overcome the issue of load shedding, if all the power plants in the country run
with the same capacity to produce electricity as that of nuclear power plants.

The country
should have 40,000 MW electricity production added to the grid by 2030. As an
associate member of CERN, Pakistan already plays a vital role in nuclear
research; doing the same thing as an NSG member state will not be a big leap.
Pakistan is effectively administrating a vibrant Personnel Reliability
Programme for all its manpower working for its strategic projects. This PRP is
similar to the US model. Furthermore, the National Institute of Safety and
Security was established for professionals, technicians and managers in the
fields of nuclear safety and security.

security systems and measures in Pakistan are based on the concept of 5Ds that
includes: deter, detect, delay, defend, and destroy. The Nuclear Emergency
Management System is in place to appropriately tackle and cope with nuclear or
radiological emergencies. Pakistan is party to the Convention on Physical
Protection of Nuclear Material, the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, and the Convention on
Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.

collaborates with various IAEA committees as an active member, such as the
Nuclear Safety Standards Committee, Transport Safety Standards Committee,
Nuclear Security Guidance Committee, Committee on Safety Standards and Global
Nuclear Safety and Security Network.

The Nuclear
Threat Initiative termed Pakistan as the ‘most improved’ country among the nine
nuclear-armed states, and better at safeguarding its nuclear materials than its
rival India. Pakistan has a declared unilateral moratorium in place on nuclear
testing and has declared that it will not be the first one to resume nuclear
testing in South Asia. It has also offered bilateral agreement on moratorium on
nuclear testing.

discriminatory approach adopted by the US and others can seriously undermine
South Asia’s strategic stability. China, New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South
Africa and Austria had already rejected the country-specific exemption from the
NSG rules. Pakistan calls for a criteria-based approach, which will ensure that
all states are treated fairly and without a bias.

country-specific exemption would further undermine the credibility of the NSG
and weaken the non-proliferation regime. All responsible states should consider
Pakistan’s membership into the NSG on the basis of transparent, objective and
non-discriminatory criteria.

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