Hitting out at Pakistan, India has said nuclear proliferation linkages active today have clear “Pakistan fingerprints” and an “unbridled” expansion of fissile material under the nexus between state and non-state actors constitutes the biggest threat to peace.
“The biggest threat to peace and stability comes from active promotion of terrorism and the unbridled expansion of fissile material production and delivery systems for nuclear weapons under the shadow of a deeply disturbing and deeply entrenched nexus between state entities and non-state actors,” Siddhartha Nath, Counsellor, Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, said.
Mr Nath made the remarks as part of India’s Right of Reply to Pakistan, which had raised the Kashmir issue at an October 10 session of UN First Committee, which deals with Disarmament and International Security.
Mr Nath said the international community must stand united against those whose persistent violations increase nuclear threat and proliferation risks.
“Nuclear proliferation linkages which are today active have clear Pakistan fingerprints,” he said.
Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the Conference on Disarmament, had said at the session that Prime Minister Minister Nawaz Sharif had in his address to the General Assembly last month expressed readiness to agree on a bilateral arrangement between Pakistan and India on a nuclear test ban.
“We are awaiting a response to that proposal,” she had said, adding that peace and stability in South Asia cannot be achieved without resolving underlying disputes, including the “Jammu and Kashmir dispute, agreeing on measures for nuclear and missile restraint, and instituting conventional forces balance.”
Mr Nath responded through the Right of Reply, saying that “it is ironic that a country whose non-proliferation track record is marked by obstructionism seeks to convince the international community of its self-serving proposals.”
“It is a matter of record that Pakistan is singularly responsible for blocking the international disarmament agenda and the Conference on Disarmament,” he said.
In its Right of Reply, a Pakistani representative asked why India had not responded to his government’s proposals for a bilateral nuclear test ban arrangement.
The Pakistani representative alleged India had conducted its first test in 1974 by “diverting” resources from a reactor that had been supplied for peaceful use and had continued to develop such weapons despite numerous proposals by Pakistan to keep South Asia free of them.
He called for India to respond to his Prime Minister’s request for a bilateral arrangement on a nuclear test ban between the two countries.