Pakistani defence experts are deeply concerned over two developments. First, they fear that the pressure of “big powers” may pave the way for India’s entry into the coveted Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Second, they are worried over the possible inclusion of Pakistani defence and commercial interests in the US export control list.
At a workshop on ‘Defence, Deterrence and Stability’ in South Asia on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Director General of Disarmament at the Foreign Office Kamran Akhtar said that small members of the NSG are being pressurised and if they make an exemption for India, there would be “serious repercussions” for Pakistan.
In November, the NSG members had failed to reach a consensus on the admission of non-NPT countries in the coveted NSG. Despite concerns, Pakistani experts also feel encouraged with the “growing support” for fixing criteria for the admission of non-NPT members in the NSG, according to Dawn.
“There are a lot of countries that now recognise the need for a criteria-based approach rather than granting exemptions, but pressures are still being exerted on smaller countries,” the Dawn reported Akhtar as saying during a workshop.
Akhtar further said that NSG members should decide if they want the group to be driven by political and commercial interests or the goal of strengthening non-proliferation.
Apart from the NSG, Pakistani experts are hoping that the US would not put more Pakistani concerns on the US entity list. If the US does so, they fear it would hit defence and commercial industry and lead to a surge in the country’s military spending, according to a report in The News.
“In many a case, the cost of basic raw material for the manufacture of simple bullets will go up as Pakistan’s defence industry will have to look for other sources from open market if Pakistan Ordinance Factories is included in the list,” The News quoted an official as saying.
According to the daily, as many as 44 Pakistani items are already in the US entity list that contains items threatening US national security. Russia tops the list with 161 items, followed by Iran (149) and China (92).
Though Pakistani administration is trying to establish diplomatic connections with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, they fear the US may sanction Pakistani concerns on the basis of Project Alpha Report of King’s College, London.
The academic report has made some startling revelations against Pakistan. Some of them are: Pakistan continues to improve its fissile material production facilities. The country is also developing tactical nuclear weapons and working on enhanced nuclear delivery system, including submarine-based second strike capability.