Foreign Secretary’s inaugural address at International Seminar on “The Present and Future of Strategic Export Controls”
Islamabad, May 09, 2018 (PPI-OT): It is a great pleasure for me to inaugurate this seminar on ”The Present and Future of Strategic Export Controls”. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the participants and commend the Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV) for the arrangements for this seminar.
Pakistan remains fully committed to the objectives of non-proliferation and disarmament. We share the global concern regarding the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and the threat it poses to international peace and security. Accordingly, we recognize the necessity of exercising effective controls over the transfer of sensitive goods and technologies to prevent their misuse and diversion to non-peaceful uses.
At the same time, all states have a legitimate interest in accessing dual-use technologies for genuine socio-economic development needs for a country like Pakistan, with emerging public and private sector technology industry, a balance between legitimate trade and security concerns is essential to safeguard both security and economic interests. This seminar provides an opportunity for us to share the details of the export control system in Pakistan and learn from the experiences and national and international best practices from the several experts who will be presenting their perspective on the issue.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Pakistan takes it international commitments on non-proliferation very seriously. We are fully implementing our obligations as a state party to various international instruments including the Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological Weapons Convention, Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Facilities, nuclear safety conventions and the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources. Recently, we have subscribed to the IAEA Supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources. We also actively participate in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). Pakistan regularly shares reports to the UN Security Council 1540 Committee on the implementation of the SC Resolution 1540.
Over the years, Pakistan has streamlined and strengthened its export control system and enhanced its engagement with multilateral export control regimes. Pakistan’s export control regime is consistent with the standards followed by the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Australia Group. Export Controls in Pakistan are underpinned by legislative instruments, Control Lists, comprehensive Licensing and Enforcement Rules and Guidelines on Strategic Export Controls. An independent Strategic Export Control Division and its Oversight Board were set up in 2007 to oversee the implementation of export controls. Due attention is given to the utilization of latest detection technologies and capacity building of frontline officials in enforcement.
The elements of nuclear security in Pakistan include robust command and control system led by the National Command Authority (NCA), rigorous regulatory regime, comprehensive export controls and international cooperation. The regulatory regime encompasses all matters related to nuclear safety and security, including physical protection of materials and facilities, material control and accounting, transport security, prevention of illicit trafficking and border controls.
National plans are in place to deal with possible radiological emergencies through an elaborate Nuclear Emergency Management System (NEMS). A state of the art Centre of Excellence on Nuclear Security (PCENS) has been established, which has grown into a regional and international hub, with support of the IAEA. In March 2018, DG IAEA visited Pakistan’s nuclear facilities and appreciated the standards of safety and security being implemented by Pakistan.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Pakistan has declared voluntary adherence to the Guidelines of the NSG and, has submitted its application for the Group’s membership. Our application is based on merit and grounded in sound technical capabilities. Pakistan has a complete programme to harness the full potential of nuclear energy for peaceful applications. We possess the expertise, infrastructure, human resource, as well as the ability to supply items listed in NSG Part-I and Part-II.
Pakistan has a long tradition of international scientific collaborations. In addition to being actively involved in IAEA’s activities, for decades Pakistan has been contributing and regularly participating in CERN’s projects, theoretical and nuclear experiments. Pakistan became the first country in the region to gain Associate Membership of CERN in 2014. The country also interacts with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), CANDU Owners Group and World Nuclear Association with regards to enhancing safety of the nuclear power plants.
As a country with significant nuclear programme and the ability to supply items controlled by the NSG, Pakistan’s participation will further the non-proliferation objectives of the Group. In this regard, Pakistan would be willing to consider any objective and non-discriminatory criteria that the Nuclear Suppliers Group agrees for membership of the non-NPT States, and applies fairly.
Any country-specific exception for NSG membership, that overrides the long-established principles and norms, will be detrimental to the credibility of the global non-proliferation regime. The NSG waiver in 2008 has neither benefitted the non-proliferation regime nor the objective of maintaining regional strategic stability. In fact, since then we have seen rapid increase in military nuclear capabilities in our neighbourhood, including the nuclearization of the Indian Ocean, development of new inter-continental ballistic missiles and induction of other destabilizing weapon systems. Pakistan’s call for restraint, responsibility and avoidance of arms race, have not been able to moderate the pursuit of aggressive force postures and offensive security doctrines.
The NSG is again at a critical juncture on the issue of membership of non-NPT states. It is important that the NSG that be seen as a rule-based organization rather than a grouping which is driven by commercial and political considerations.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Pakistan is facing acute power shortage as it is a fossil fuel deficient country. In order to meet its enormously increasing energy needs and to support sustained economic growth and industrial development, reliance on civil nuclear energy is an imperative. The energy requirement is expected to grow by a factor of 7 over the next two decades.
Therefore, our national goal envisages expansion in the nuclear energy capacity to 50,000 MW by 2050, as nuclear power is a clean and cost-effective alternative to fossil fuel. Adherence to global non-proliferation and nuclear safety and security standards and regime harmonization should further enhance international confidence and facilitate international cooperation in nuclear power generation and collaboration in health, industry, agriculture and other sectors.
Ladies and Gentlemen
I hope that, among other things, this seminar will also afford you an opportunity to deliberate on certain emerging challenges in the field of export controls. These challenges relate to the increasing volume of international commerce in dual use goods and technologies, coupled with rapid developments in science and technology including biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, 3D printing, and autonomous weapon systems.
I wish you success and hope this event will enhance your understanding about Pakistan’s efforts towards non-proliferation and strategic export controls.
For more information, contact:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan