pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #14 – Logic may help: Pakistan and the FMCT

In its first meeting of the year, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) again fell prey to Pakistan’s opposition to the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT). The resolution on the ‘Programme of Work’ for the commencement of negotiations could not be agreed since the 64-member CD works on consensus. Pakistan’s principal opposition is on the issue of stocks of fissile material, which the treaty in its present form does not address. According to Islamabad, a treaty that does not lead to verifiable elimination of fissile material stocks and is only concerned with stopping future production of nuclear material is inherently discriminatory, does not serve the purpose of global nuclear disarmament, and most important, from Pakistan’s perspective, renders the strategic balance in the South Asian region in favor of its archrival India. In other words, the issue of fissile material stocks is important not only for the goal of global zero but Pakistan’s national survival as well.