Monday, 27 June 2016

Nuclear Suppliers Group's Membership- An Insight into successful diplomacy of Pakistan

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is an organization for regulatory the Nuclear item, (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a 48 member grouping that was formed in the aftermath of India’s 1974 nuclear test with the aim of ensuring non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear technology.
The 48 members of the NSG include the five nuclear weapon states, US, UK, France, China and Russia. The other 43 are signatories to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The NSG Guidelines also contain the “Non-Proliferation Principle,” adopted in 1994, whereby a supplier, notwithstanding other provisions in the NSG Guidelines, authorizes a transfer only when satisfied that the transfer would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

 NSG; how it operates?
When considering a new nation to be admitted into the group, the NSG has certain prerequisites countries have to meet. The country should have the ability to supply items, including items in transit. The country should adhere to and act in accordance with the guidelines of the group. The nation needs to also implement a legally based domestic export control system which gives authorisation to the commitment to act in accordance with the guidelines. Adherence to one or more of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), the Treaties of Pelindaba, Rarotonga, Tlatelolco, Bangkok, Semipalatinsk or an equivalent international nuclear non-proliferation agreement, and full compliance with the obligations of such agreement(s).
US President Barack Obama on June 7, 2016 has announced that his country is backing India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). A day after India received support from the United States' for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, Pakistan cautioned the cartel of nuclear technology holders that country specific exemptions would negatively impact strategic stability in South Asia. India's membership of the NSG is "not merited until the country meets the group's standards. The group's membership has signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty but India has refused to do so, which means "it has not accepted legally binding commitments to pursue disarmament negotiations, halt the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and not test nuclear weapons". President Barack Obama could take advantage of the US-India ties and push for India’s adherence to nuclear proliferation standards. However, the US has for years “sought to bend the rules for India’s nuclear programme” to maintain a cooperative relationship to counter growing Chinese influence in the region, and Obama has been lobbying for India to gain NSG membership.
Since 2008, despite being a non-member and a Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) state, India has finalised more than a dozen nuclear cooperation agreements with NSG’s members. As part of a 2008 deal signed with the US during the Bush Jr era, India promised it would be “ready to assume the same responsibilities and practices” as other member states, but has fallen short by continuing to produce fissile material and expand its nuclear arsenal, the NYT said.
Pakistan's Diplomatic Efforts for NSG membership

Pakistan applied for nuclear supplier group membershipon May 20, 2016 in order to counter possible Indian inclusion into Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG).
Pakistan has managed to gather support from China. Other countries opposing Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) include New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria.
Pakistan argues that in the wake of India gaining easy access to fissile material and technology for its civilian nuclear programme, it would have that much more material for its military nuclear programme and India gaining NSG membership will eventually lead to a nuclear arms race.
Pakistan wishes to have friendly, cooperative and good relations with its neighboring states and believes in peaceful co-existence.
However, India’s first nuclear test in 1974 injected nuclear dimension in strategic relations in South Asia. Pakistan was compelled to develop nuclear capability purely for self-defense.
Pakistan has formally asked the US administration and the Congress to support its application for joining the NSG after it submitted an official application in Vienna, expressing its desires to join the group on solid grounds of technical experience, capability and well-established commitment to nuclear safety.
Pakistan has been struggling to maintain equilibrium and act as a balancer in the tilt of changing nuclear cartels which are governed without principles. Pakistan conducted its nuclear test in 1998 keeping in mind the hostile behavior of its neighbor.
Pakistan has made a convincing case for its right to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group – which was established to ensure that civilian trade in nuclear materials was not diverted for military purposes.
Essentially, Pakistan needs a civilian nuclear deal similar to the Indo-US accord, which allows India access to nuclear technology despite not being a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has contacted the foreign ministers of Russia, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea, as part of Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts for mobilising support for membership in the NSG. Calls were made as part of Pakistan’s continuing diplomatic efforts.
In order to mobilise support for Pakistan’s NSG membership, a briefing session held in Islamabad on June 8, 2016 with NSG countries diplomatic missions invited.
Pakistan has urged Nuclear Suppliers Group countries to adopt objective and non-discriminatory criteria for awarding membership to the non-NPT states.
Pakistan has the expertise, manpower, infrastructure and the ability to supply NSG controlled items, goods and services for a full range of nuclear applications for peaceful uses.
As part of the ongoing diplomatic efforts, the envoys from NSG countries were urged to adopt objective and non-discriminatory criteria for the membership of Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) states.
Pakistan considers that the nature of threat that exists today, needs to be addressed collectively and therefore, sees itself as a likeminded partner in the global non-proliferation efforts being member of the nuke supplier band.
As a responsible state, Pakistan is participating in and cooperating with the international community in efforts to prevent and control proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Pakistan nuclear has three major objectives i.e.  To achieve and maintain credible minimum deterrence and survival in highly nuclearized environment such as India, Russia and China, and meeting its growing nuclear energy needs.

Pakistan has operated secure and safeguarded nuclear power plants for over 42 years. Safe and sustainable civil nuclear energy is essential for Pakistan’s future energy security and its economic development.


Present Government has used a new indicator methodology by which to measure poverty. It is called the Multidimensional Poverty Index, and it uses metrics like education, health and standard of living, thus giving a more detailed understanding of poverty.This makes it a slightly superior methodology compared to the traditional measurements that use income, consumption and wealth as the main dimensions, thereby enabling a more comprehensive view of poverty in the country.
According to the country’s first ever official Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which shows a sharp decline with national poverty rates falling from 55 % to 39% from 2004 to 2015. The headcount of multidimensional poverty in FY2015 was 38.8 percent while the intensity of deprivation is 51.0 percent.  Since FY2005, multidimensional poverty has continuously reduced in Pakistan.  The headcount reduced from 55.2 percent to 38.8 percent between FY 2005 and FY 2015.
The report states 38.8% of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty. A majority of the rural population (54.6%) lives in acute poverty while this ratio is only 9.4% in urban areas. Among the provinces, multidimensional poverty is the highest in Balochistan and the lowest in Punjab. The poverty came down largely because of the growth in the informal economy. “It is unfortunate that many millions are still left behind. Pakistan has set zero poverty goal much before the year 2030, reduction of multidimensional poverty is one of the core objectives of Pakistan’s Vision 2025.
Inclusive and balanced growth, which benefits everyone and especially the marginalized communities, is government priority and is essential for promoting harmony in society.

Since assuming responsibilities, the present government has focused on reaching out to the most deserving segments of the population in underserved areas. The  government  is  fully  committed  to  follow  a  sustained  poverty  reduction  strategy  and  to allocate  a  minimum  of  4.5  percent  of  GDP  for  social  and  poverty  related  expenditures.  The government  prioritized  17  pro-poor  sectors  through  the  Medium  Term  Expenditure  Framework. Expenditure on pro-poor sectors in 2011-12 stood at 9.7 percent of GDP. In 2012-13, these were 8.5 percent of GDP and in 2013-14, 7.7 percent of GDP. These expenditures were well above the requirement under the law.  During  2014-15,  total  expenditures  for  these  sectors  were  increased and amounted to Rs 2,162.7 billion, which was 7.9 percent of GDP. During July-December of the current fiscal year 2015-16, Rs.  1,123 billion expenditures have been made in these sectors.
Per Capita Income, which stood at $1334 in FY2012-13, is projected to increase to $1561 in FY2015-16, showing a growth of 17% in dollar terms, while it increased by 24% in terms of rupee.
BISP is continuing to eradicate extreme poverty through provision of cash transfers. The monthly installment was enhanced by the present government to Rs. 1200/ per family in July, 2013 which has subsequently been increased to Rs. 1500/per family in 2014. The present government has yet again increased the annual stipends from Rs.  18,000 per annum to Rs.  18,800 per annum per beneficiary w.e.f. 1st July, 2015
The  present  government  has  increased  the  BISP  budgetary  allocations  from  Rs.70  billion  in FY2013 to Rs. 75 billion in FY2014, which has subsequently been enhanced to Rs. 97 billion in  FY2015 and for the fiscal FY2016-17 r it has been enhanced to Rs. 115 billion which representing a nearly three-fold increase since 2012-13
The  number  of  BISP  beneficiaries  is  expected  to  increase  from  5.0  million  in  FY2015  to  5.3 million by the end of FY2016. By the end of next financial year the number of beneficiary families would further rise to increase to 5.6 million.
So far, BISP has achieved all the targets set under IMF’s Extended Fund Facility which has been acknowledged by IMF in eleventh review meeting held in May 2016.

Pakistan  Poverty  Alleviation  Fund  (PPAF)  also  provides  assistance  in  microcredit,  water  and infrastructure,  drought  mitigation,  education,  health  and  emergency  response  interventions.
During  July  2015  to  March  2016,  PPAF  has  disbursed  an  amount  of  approximately  Rs.11.96  billion  to  its  partner  organizations  (POs)  under  PPAF  core  interventions  administered  under various operational units. 
An amount of Rs.  5303.53  million  is  distributed  in  bulk  for  Zakat  amongst  the  provinces  and other administrative areas for FY2016.

Pakistan  Bait-ul-Mal  (PBM)  is  also  making  efforts  for  eradication  of  poverty  by  providing assistance.  During  July  2015  to  March  2016,  PBM  has  managed  to  disburse  an  amount  of  Rs. 3132.39 million to its core projects.Bait-ul-Maal Budget for next financial year has been increased Rs.4 billion.
The efforts of the present federal government are another milestone in inculcating prosperity at grass root level.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Pakistan has entered Shanghai Cooperation Organization as Full member (Another Milestone for Pakistan's successful diplomacy)

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. These countries, except for Uzbekistan had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation. 

The Shanghai Five grouping was created 26 April 1996 with the signing of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions in Shanghai by the heads of states of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. On 24 April 1997, the same countries signed the Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions in a meeting in Moscow.

The SCO is primarily centered on its member nations' Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism. However evidence is growing that its activities in the area of social development of its member states is increasing fast.

Pakistan has become a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) after signing Memorandum of Obligations (MoOs), on June 24, 2016. The memorandum was signed by Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz at SCO’s Heads of State Summit at Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Radio Pakistan reported. The document was jointly signed by the Foreign Ministers of Six SCO member states, Secretary General SCO and the Adviser on Foreign Affairs.

"Pakistan has been an observer at SCO since 2005. It has been a regular participant in the meetings of SCO and was the first SCO observer to apply for full membership in 2010,” a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office said.
Pakistan’s request for membership was approved in principle by the Heads of State Summit held in Ufa, Russia, in July last year. The Heads of State Council had agreed to launch the procedure of accepting Pakistan as a member state of SCO with the consensus of all the founding members.
SCO will allow Pakistan to underscore its interest in regional peace, stability, development and its support for regional cooperation against terrorism, separatism and extremism. It will provide us with a platform for forging closer ties with China, Russia and other members of SCO. It will also allow us to explore greater economic linkages and cooperation with Central Asian countries in the areas of energy and transport. The Expansion in SCO membership will enhance importance and relevance of the Organization as its 8 Members would represent 45 percent of the total global population.

Pakistan had been striving for the permanent membership of SCO. Pakistan has always maintained a policy of friendly relations with its neighbouring countries. Also, it has substantially contributed to the working of another regional organization i.e. SAARC. The all-encompassing policies of Pakistan have convinced China to make an investment as huge as 46 billion dollars under CPEC. Pakistan has always played an active role in all international organizations. SCO membership will serve as a confidence building measure for other countries to invest in Pakistan.

Pakistan has described its permanent membership to Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an important milestone with regard to its national objectives. Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakariya said this would provide a platform to Pakistan to collectively work with other SCO member states in different fields, including security. Due to the strategic location of Pakistan, other regional countries can also take full benefit of it for the promotion of trade and economic activities through enhanced connectivity.