Negative developments in int’l security landscape holds mayhem repercussions for South Asia: Foreign Secretary
Once again highlighted Pakistan’s concerns on the military spin-offs of provision of high-end technologies to one country in our region by certain states, side-stepping global non-proliferation rules and creating discriminatory exception to export control regimes
ISLAMABAD, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood on Wednesday said the negative developments in international security landscape were casting their shadows in South Asia, where Pakistan faced a growing threat from conventional and nuclear arms build-ups.
“The threats to strategic stability in South Asia are accentuated by the nuclearization of the Indian Ocean, increase in diversity, numbers, ranges and readiness of delivery systems for both conventional and nuclear weapons, tests of hypersonic delivery vehicle, acquisition of anti-ballistic missile systems and long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles,” he stated while addressing the High-Level Segment of Conference on Disarmament (CD) held under the Presidency of Brazil.
The foreign secretary said, “In March 2019, we saw a demonstration of anti-satellite weapons capability in our neighbourhood, when a missile defence interceptor was used to destroy a satellite in a low earth orbit and creating debris in the process.”
The development, he said, “once again highlighted Pakistan’s concerns on the military spin-offs of provision of high-end technologies to one country in our region by certain states, side-stepping global non-proliferation rules and creating discriminatory exception to export control regimes.”
“These destabilizing developments assume a dangerous dimension against the backdrop of continuing illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, violations of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people, and continued attempts at changing the demographic structure of the occupied territory in violation of international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” he added.
The foreign secretary further said Pakistan expected the outside players to be mindful of their responsibility not to further accentuate military imbalance and carefully review the impact of their geo-political strategies on strategic stability in South Asia.
He emphasized that peace and stability in South Asia could not be achieved without resolving the underlying disputes; without agreeing on reciprocal measures for nuclear and missile restraint, and risk reduction; and without instituting a balance between conventional forces through a sustained process of dialogue and confidence building.
“Our proposal for establishing a strategic restraint regime in South Asia is geared towards achieving these objectives. However, it needs a willing partner,” he remarked.
The foreign secretary reaffirmed the significance attached by Pakistan to the CD as a vital organ of the multilateral security architecture.
“We remain committed to its effective functioning. However, that will require political will to revive global consensus on pursuing arms control and nuclear disarmament on the principles outlined by SSOD-I (Special Session on Disarmament),” he maintained.
The foreign secretary said a balanced, comprehensive and objective approach must permeate the CD’s work in its entirety for it to respond to international expectations.
“In doing so, this body can and must contribute to enhanced security for all at the lowest level of armaments,” he stressed.
Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood congratulated Brazil on assuming the Presidency of the august body, adding, Pakistan looked forward to working closely with Brazil and subsequent CD Presidencies during the current year.
He said that as the Conference was an indispensible part of the UN disarmament machinery, it had a unique role to advance the global disarmament and arms control agenda on a consensus-based approach.
“This body has successfully delivered important treaties and conventions,” he added.
The Foreign Secretary said that the current impasse in the CD was a reflection of the prevailing geo-strategic realities.
“Great power competition has re-emerged. Some states continue to pursue dominance including through expansion and up-gradation of their arsenals, accentuating risks of nuclear war. Militarily significant states have demonstrated little appetite for treaties which require compromises on their strategic advantages.These states are only willing to advance proposals which are cost-free for them,” he remarked.
The Foreign Secretary said that cumulatively, those trends and developments had led to a stalemate in the CD for over two decades now.