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Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram in the Conference on Disarmament on 7 September 1999 (Indian Nuclear Doctrine)


 Mr. President,

My delegation would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the admirable manner in which you have steered the Conference towards its conclusion. You have conducted the business of this Conference in the last few weeks in a patient and dedicated manner, and I believe that because of your perseverance, the Conference, despite its difficulties, will conclude its 1999 session in a positive and forward-looking spirit. My distinguished colleague from the United Kingdom a while ago stated that he realized as a representative of a nuclear-weapon State that he would be damned for what he did say and damned for what he did not say. I must confess that I have had less practice than he has and therefore, I would like to add a few remarks at our meeting today.

Mr. President,

Pakistan will support the endeavours to reach a balanced programme of work for the CD next year. We believe that the statements which we have heard so far in the CD today have not fully and objectively reflected the realities which have confronted the Conference and the members of the Conference this year. There were common elements upon which we could have worked to evolve agreement on a programme of work. Further consultations were required to reach agreement on two issues; nuclear disarmament and the prevention of an arms race in Outer Space, and the failure of the CD to reach agreement is because those delegations which were in a very small minority on these issues were unable to make the necessary compromises to reflect the general wish and consensus of the Conference. Unjustified obstacles were placed in the work of the CD on the priority issue of nuclear disarmament as well as the issue of the prevention of an arms race in Outer Space. It will be necessary for the Conference, Mr. President, to deal with these issues in a serious and substantive manner. Nuclear disarmament is the highest priority for disarmament negotiations. The nuclear-weapon States must practice what they preach. No one doubts that the prevention of an arms race in Outer Space is now another issue requiring urgent attention. We cannot accept that the Conference on Disarmament has no role to play in these vital issues and all that it can do is to simply negotiate redundant, non-proliferation measures.

Mr. President,

The analysis of the ailments of the CD which have been offered here today are partial. The fact of the matter is that the whole agenda of disarmament has suffered a setback in recent months, and it has suffered a setback for very concrete and tangible reasons; the prospects of revision of the ABM Treaty, the prospects of the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems and theatre missile defences, the likely impact - or negative impact - on the strategic arms talks and agreements of these developments, the possibility of the revival of a nuclear arms race both at the global level and at the regional level in various parts of the world, including my region of South Asia, and then the announcement of India's nuclear doctrine.

Mr. President,

In my statement of 19 August, I outlined Pakistan's concerns regarding the nuclear doctrine released by India on 17 August this year. This morning, Mr. President, the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan has delivered a statement in Islamabad at our Institute of Strategic Studies on the regional and global implications of India's nuclear doctrine. I have requested the Secretariat to circulate the text of the Foreign Secretary's statement and I have asked that this be circulated also as an official document of this Conference.

Mr. President,

The statement examines the developments since the nuclear tests in South Asia last year. It outlines Pakistan's positive response to the call for restraint in the development and deployment of nuclear arms and ballistic missiles. It explains the rationale for Pakistan's proposal for a strategic restraint regime in South Asia. The Foreign Secretary of Pakistan has drawn attention to the fact that the nuclear doctrine announced by India is a prescription for a massive militarization programme, both in the nuclear and conventional fields. It will create a new and far more dangerous round of instability in the region with operationally deployed and ready-to-use nuclear weapons. It is a clear rejection of all initiatives to curb an arms race in South Asia and will constitute the most serious obstacle to any prospects for nuclear and missile restraint in South Asia.

Mr. President,

A lot has been said here about the fissile material so-called "cut-off" treaty, and we have heard of course the most rigorous advocacy of this from those who are perhaps new converts to the cause. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we are prepared to participate in negotiations when the CD commences next year, but as our Foreign Secretary has observed in his statement, "India's intention to manufacture 400 or more nuclear warhead is also of special concern to Pakistan. India will require substantial quantities of fissile material for such a large nuclear force. Under these circumstances, neither India nor Pakistan could accept the conclusion of an FMCT, much less a moratorium on fissile-material production". In his statement, the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan has called on the international community to urge India to take ten steps to reverse the dangerous implications of its nuclear doctrine. I will read these ten steps which he has proposed. The world must ask India to assure its neighbours and the world that :

i.    It will not conduct further nuclear tests. Until the CTBT comes into force, Pakistan and India could formalize their unilateral moratoriums into a binding bilateral arrangement;

ii. It will not operationally deploy its nuclear weapons and will keep them in a non-deployed mode;

iii. It will not build the hundreds of nuclear warheads as envisaged by its nuclear doctrine;

iv. It will not produce or possess the large stocks of fissile materials which would enable it to build a large arsenal of nuclear weapons in the future. In this context, steps should be taken to achieve a balance between the unequal stockpiles of India and Pakistan;

v.    It will not seek to create sea-based and submarine-based nuclear forces;

vi.     It will not seek to acquire, develop or deploy anti-ballistic missile systems which could escalate development and deployment of nuclear arms in the region;

vii.    It will refrain from any military-related actions in space;

viii.    It will review and restrain its plans for the acquisition and development of advanced aircraft, nuclear submarines and other technologically advanced weapons systems which could accentuate and accelerate the nuclear and conventional arms race in the region;

ix.    It will seriously address and resolve the underlying issues with Pakistan, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, with the active support and involvement of the international community; and

x.    It will enter into negotiations with Pakistan to elaborate a strategic restraint regime for South Asia.

Mr. President,

If the international community fails once again to deplore India's nuclear military escalation, Pakistan, which has so far restrained itself, will obviously be obliged to take the necessary action to ensure the credibility of its deterrence posture. Unfortunately, this would imply an end to any realistic prospects to prevent an open arms race in South Asia. It is ironic that the international community has failed to act in part because of actions of those who decry the inaction of the Conference on Disarmament. In particular, countries planning to sell advanced conventional weapons to India should carefully consider the consequences of adding qualitatively and quantitatively to India's massive conventional forces. This would further aggravate the conventional balance in South Asia and may compel Pakistan to place greater reliance on its nuclear and missile capabilities to deter India. Thus, sales of conventional arms and ABM systems to India will create a more unstable security situation in South Asia.

Mr. President,

Even at this late stage, Pakistan is committed to pursuing contacts and consultations with all the members of the international community in order to evolve a broadly agreed approach to deal with the threats to regional and global peace and security emerging from India's political and military ambitions as revealed in its nuclear doctrine. We hope that at this late stage we shall receive the positive response for which we have hoped for over 35 years.

Thank you, Mr. President