Islamabad: Pakistan needs to establish its credentials as a responsible nuclear state before seeking membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a Pakistani daily said on Tuesday.
Pakistan has launched a fresh drive to gather support for its efforts to join the 48-nation NSG with a request to the White House this week to support its bid.
“The fresh move by the Pakistani authorities gives an insight into the seemingly wrong set of priorities,” the Daily Times said in an editorial.
“Against the backdrop of a struggling economy, declining foreign export and with a large population living below the poverty line, Pakistan’s bid to join the elite group of the NSG lacks prudence.
“In retrospect, these efforts would be viewed as a policy aberration rather than a move with any lasting impact.
“These are the things that suit a nation that has made remarkable progress in other fields of life, and its social indicators present positive signs about living conditions of common citizens,” the Times said.
The daily demanded to know why Pakistan was competing with India in its quest to join the NSG when so many other key areas need its immediate attention. “On the surface, Pakistan’s rationale looks flawed.
“At a time when the social sector is in utter distress, the rate of unemployment is high and corruption is rampant, how can the government convince 48 countries about its credentials as a responsible state?
“Pakistan needs to give preference to improving the living standards of people instead of pursuing the membership of the NSG with an aim to undermine India, which has also applied to join the group with the backing of the US,” it added.
The Times said the presence of banned outfits like the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan and accusation of transfer of nuclear technology to North Korea make Pakistan’s stance weak about its capability to become a part of the NSG.
“The US views India favourably, both as a counterweight to the rise of China as well as because of India’s huge emerging economy as a vast consumer market with untold business opportunities in addition to being a huge buyer of weapons,” the editorial said.