New Delhi: For the second time within a week, Pakistan on Tuesday offered India a bilateral arrangement for not conducting a nuclear test, saying it will send a positive signal to the NSG where both the countries have applied for membership. Pakistan’s offer to India for a bilateral arrangement on non-testing of nuclear weapons was initially announced by the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on August 12.
Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria on Tuesday said that following the nuclear tests in 1998, Pakistan had proposed to India simultaneous adherence to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) but the proposal did not elicit a favourable response from India.
“Once again, in the larger interest of peace and stability in the region, as also in the global context, Pakistan has indicated the possibility that the two countries may consider a bilateral arrangement, which is reflective of its policy of promoting restraint and responsibility in South Asia and its consistent support for the objectives of the CTBT,” he said.
“The bilateral non-testing arrangement, if mutually agreed, could become binding immediately without waiting for the entry into force of the CTBT at the international level,” the spokesperson added. He said while the unilateral moratoriums declared by the two countries were voluntary, legally non-binding and could be withdrawn unilaterally, a bilateral arrangement will be mutually binding and difficult to withdraw from unilaterally.