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Pakistan be included in N-mainstream on same terms as other non-NPT states: think tank

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan should be included in the nuclear mainstream on same terms as were offered to other non-NPT states, said Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), a think tank that works on strategic issues.The Islamabad-based think tank also rejected proposals made by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Stimson Centre, which had called on Pakistan to return to “strategic” deterrence instead of “full spectrum deterrence”, commit to a recessed deterrence posture and limit production of short-range delivery vehicles and tactical nuclear weapons; lift Pakistan’s veto on Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty and reduce or stop fissile material production; separate civilian and military nuclear facilities; and sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty without waiting for India.

The SVI recommendations that cautioned against compromising on national security were framed by a group of nuclear experts comprising Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema, President of SVI, and National Defence University professors Dr Zafar Khan and Dr Rizwana Abbasi.

Debate surrounding the Western proposals for Pakistan’s nuclear mainstreaming has once again started ahead of Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif’s visit to US from Nov 15-20.

While launching the recommendations Dr Cheema said that proposals for “mainstream(ing) Pakistan into the international community are purposefully discriminatory because they aim at limiting Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability, besides freezing the range of ballistic missiles”.

Dr Cheema criticised reports that emerge from time to time that Pakistan had the fastest growing nuclear programme and the country could be on the way to having the world’s third largest nuclear stockpile saying that authors of these reports mischievously use different criteria for Pakistan and India while making such assessments.

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