A week after rival India issued a similar statement, Pakistan says the move by the five world powers is a “positive development”.
The Pakistani government has welcomed the joint statement by the Group of Five on preventing nuclear war as a “positive development”, a Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman said, a week after its regional rival India issued a similar statement.
“As a responsible nuclear weapons state, Pakistan supports the goals of global, non-discriminatory and non-proliferation nuclear disarmament,” a statement by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday said, in response to the five countries’ statement released on January 3rd.
The statement quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Assem Iftikhar as saying that the five countries’ statement “is in line with the provisions of the first special session on disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly – with equal and undiminished security being the critical consideration.”
The Group of Five consists of the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and France.
India and Pakistan have tested nuclear weapons, making them part of eight countries around the world that have publicly declared themselves to have nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
The other countries are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, and North Korea.
According to the leading nuclear weapons tracking organization, the Federation of American Scientists, Israel is estimated to have 90 nuclear weapons. However, Israel pursues a policy of ambiguity and has not officially confirmed or denied its existence.
India and Pakistan refused to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (commonly referred to as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) or ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003.
South Asian context
Addressing the five major countries, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson reiterated Pakistan’s proposal for a regional “strategic restraint system”.
Asim Iftikhar said, “In the context of South Asia, Pakistan’s proposal for a system of strategic restraint, which includes restraint in nuclear and missile weapons, conventional balancing and conflict resolution, can contribute significantly to maintaining strategic stability and avoiding military conflict.”
“This will also necessitate avoiding misconceptions about space for war in a nuclear environment,” he said, referring to India’s development of anti-satellite weapons that could be launched at objects in Earth orbit.
“Pakistan fully agrees with the need for effective measures by all nuclear powers to protect against any unauthorized or unintended use of nuclear weapons.”
On January 7, the Indian government issued a similar statement in which it welcomed the position of the five countries on the prevention of nuclear war.
“We welcome this week’s joint statement, which reaffirms the importance of addressing nuclear threats, and affirms the desire to work towards creating a more conducive security environment for advancing disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world free of nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all,” a Ministry spokesperson said. Indian External Affairs Arindam Bagchi.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been nearly frozen since the 2019 military standoff in the disputed northern region of Kashmir, bringing it to the brink of another war.
The Indian army launched air strikes inside Pakistani territory following a suicide attack by Kashmiri rebels that killed 40 Indian security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Pakistan responded by launching its own air attacks on targets in Indian-administered Kashmir, and the standoff ended just two days later, when Pakistan brought back an Indian fighter pilot who had been shot down during the skirmishes.