Pakistan launched a concerted diplomatic push for a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) after the United States backed India’s bid to join the 48-nation informal but exclusive club of nuclear trading countries.
Last month, Islamabad formally applied for a NSG membership, setting the stage for a possible showdown with New Delhi when preliminary negotiations start on the issue in Vienna next week.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured Washington’s backing on Tuesday for New Delhi’s bid for a membership of the NSG after talks with US President Barack Obama.
However, Pakistan warned against any country-specific exemptions, which according to a senior Foreign Office official, would negatively impact strategic stability in South Asia.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz spoke by the phone with foreign ministers of Russia, South Korea and New Zealand as part of Pakistan’s continuing diplomatic efforts towards mobilising support for the country’s application for NSG membership.
“His interlocutors expressed support for a non-discriminatory approach on NSG expansion to non-NPT states,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
Separately, the Foreign Office arranged a detailed briefing for diplomatic missions of NSG countries in Islamabad. Additional Secretary United Nations and Economic Coordination Ambassador Tasnim Aslam briefed the envoys and other diplomats about Pakistan’s credentials for joining the NSG.