Pakistan has launched a fresh drive to gather support for its NSG membership bid with a top official today embarking on a visit to Belarus and Kazakhstan to gain their backing. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi is undertaking visits to Belarus and Kazakhstan from August 23 to 27 as a special envoy of Premier Nawaz Sharif, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
“The objective of the visits is to seek the two friendly countries’ support for Pakistan’s membership of the (48-nation) Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),” it said. The Special Assistant is carrying letters from Sharif addressed to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
“In his letters, the Prime Minister has underscored the need for the NSG to adopt a non-discriminatory approach on the question of the membership for non-NPT states in order to promote strategic stability in South Asia and strengthen the global non-proliferation regime,” the Foreign Office said. While in Belarus, Fatemi will call on President Lukashenko and will hold meetings with Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Rybakov and Minister of Industry Vitali Vovk, it said.
In Kazakhstan, the Special Assistant’s programme would include meetings with Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov and Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan M Ashikbayev. Pakistan faces a tough challenge in gaining entry into the nuclear trading club as it has failed to get the support of the US which is pushing for India’s membership.