Pak 'fully eligible' for NSG membership: Sharif tells UN

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New York [USA], Sept. 22 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address at the United Nations said that Islamabad "is fully eligible" for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group. "Judged on the basis of objective criteria and without discrimination, Pakistan is fully eligible for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group," he said in his remarks at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). "We have introduced state of the art measures to strengthen the safety and security of our nuclear materials and facilities. We have adopted a comprehensive export control regime that is fully consistent with international standards," he said. He also asserted that Pakistan is not engaged in an arms race with India. The Prime Minister, however, added, "We cannot ignore our neighbour's unprecedented arms buildup and will take whatever measures are necessary to maintain credible deterrence." He further said Islamabad is ready for talks to agree on a bilateral nuclear test ban treaty. He said Pakistan is open to discussing all measures of restraint and responsibility with New Delhi in any forum or format and without any conditions. "We have consistently urged the conclusion of bilateral arms control and disarmament measures between Pakistan and India to prevent conflict and avoid wasteful military expenditures," he added. Pakistan and India are the two non-NPT states aspiring for the membership of the 48-member international nuclear trade body. Many countries, including China, had opposed India's bid to join the NSG at its last meeting in June citing that the latter has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is the basic criteria to enter the NSG. (ANI)