The post world war II scenario has envisaged collective security and regionalism, both demonstrate the complete fallacy of the cliché that the world could possibly be free of all kinds of weapons in general, nuclear weapons in particular.
Debates within the country and abroad have resumed concerning that will Pakistan succumb to the foreign pressure exerted by the nuclear weapon states to negotiate the discriminatory FMCT? The move if Pakistan opted for can destabilize the regional balance of power, as India is far more superior in conventional arms production and capability than her counterpart.
The controversial treaty of FMCT, Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty was proposed by US, but the practical actions were first seen in Dec, 1993 when UN General Assembly declared to adopt a resolution named as 48/75L to convene immediate negotiations with regards to a “Non-discriminatory, multilateral and international effectively verifiable treaty” to halt and ban the further production of fissile materials.
On 5th April, 2009, US president, Barack Obama took an unprecedented move by proposing the verification of the treaty. His remarks were ensued by establishing a Committee in the same year to persuade the nuclear weapon states to launch talks over the future fate of FMCT.
Amid the rapid advancements in the dialogues, Pakistan became the sole country to have defied the proposed treaty calling it totally discriminatory. Quite justifiable.
One of the most concerning factors is the stockpiles of fissile material the developed states are possessing, a ban on the further production of the given material would not disturb their nuclear hegemony as their stocks would be at disposal to back up their future nuclear ambitions. However, Pakistan is an exception in this case.
The notion of FMCT politics is a deliberate move to deprive and dominate the states like Pakistan. As a consequence, the talks remain deadlocked just because the latter holds very grave reservations over the proposed treaty calling it a leverage to maintain and guarantee the nuclear hegemony of the haves.
Many agendas suggested forward by Pakistan to reinvigorate channel of communication to tilt the terms of the proposal in her favor could not persuade the West to really compromise the discriminatory agendas. Why does not she come ahead with a new proposal? What if the agenda changes from FMCT to FMRT (Fissile Material Reduction Treaty)? To put it plainly, reduction in the production of fissile material may hamper the western designs, but quite suitable to a third world country like Pakistan. The reduction of a specific amount of fissile material will at least ensure Pakistan enough of the stocks to maintain her nuclear deterrence in the region.
Clauses of the proposed FMRT may be defined as;
- A general observance of the treaty should be guaranteed by signatories.
- No exit clause.
- The treaty should be ratified within a year from the period of being signed from the respective countries legislative bodies.
- Absolute disarmament is a myth, so the signatories should reduce the fissile material to 25%.
- The states should reduce their fissile production till 2020 to meet the proposals.
As per the terms and conditions of the treaty, Pakistan will carry on her nuclear production without fearing the least from the stockpiles of the West, since to create deterrence Pakistan already has enough potential of retaliatory second strike capability.
The West should realize the gravity of the balance of power in South Asia by now. Pakistan’s defiance of the proposed treaty has created an inordinate stalemate in the further progress of the standing committee. By adapting to the FMRT, not to completely cut-off, but to reduce the fissile materials seems more eligible to bridge an understanding between the Western led nuclear states and Pakistan, in other case, the fate of the cut-off treaty appears to be bleak.
Jameel-ur-Rehman Baloch is a student of International Relations at NUML Islamabad (Pakistan). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org