Pakistan to block progress at the CD, citing Obama's support of India joining NSG

On 25 January, Ambassador Zamir Akram made clear at the Conference on Disarmament that Pakistan has "further strengthened" its opposition to talks on an FMCT because of President Obama's support for India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (see Statement by Zamir Akram at Conference On Disarmament, Geneva, 25 January 2011). Pakistan has been blocking talks on an FMCT at the CD for the past two years.

Ambassador Akram cited a 14 December 2010, Pakistan's National (Nuclear) Command Authority statement that "policies and trends of selectivity, exceptionalism and discrimination relating to strategic export control regimes ... would perpetuate instability, especially in South Asia" and that "Pakistan will never accept discriminatory treatment and that it rejects any effort to undermine its strategic deterrence."

India and Pakistan have been subject to trade restrictions under a number of export control regimes. During President's Obama's visit to India in November 2010, however, a US-India joint statement declared that " the United States intends to support India's full membership in the four multilateral export control regimes (Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement)." A similar offer has not been made to Pakistan.

If allowed to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, India would be the only member that has not signed the NPT. The Nuclear Suppliers Group was set up to prevent the use of civilian nuclear technology for weapons purposes after India tested a nuclear weapon in 1974 using plutonium that it had produced in a research reactor that had been provided for peaceful purposes. India was given a special exemption from Nuclear Suppliers Group trade rules in 2008. Pakistan has been seeking a similar exemption.