The Pakistan-US joint statement on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington last month contains a section on ‘Non-proliferation, Nuclear Security and Strategic Stability’. As noted by Michael Krepon of the Stimson Centre, there are no words in the joint statement on “Pakistan’s growing stockpiles of nuclear weapons and fissile materials; short-range, tactical or battlefield weapons; Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; [and] Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.”
The other side of the coin is that the statement makes no reference to Islamabad’s demand for lifting the ban on civil nuclear cooperation with Pakistan.
The failure to mention publicly nuclear-related issues that either side considers important does not necessarily mean that they were not discussed or that they have lost their importance. Obama, for his part, is believed to have taken up the issue of Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons programme, while Nawaz reportedly brought up the question of Pakistan’s access to civil nuclear technology. Neither of these subjects was mentioned publicly most likely because each side felt that it would be more productive if discussions were continued in a confidential dialogue.
To read the full article, click here.