Pakistan's Instrument of Ratification

Addressing a press conference on 29 October 1997, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary, Shamshad Ahmed, made the following statement on Pakistan's ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention:

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"As you know the Government of Pakistan has ratified the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction commonly know as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) which entered into force on 29 April 1997. Pakistan's Instrument of Ratification to the Chemical Weapons Convention was deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations yesterday, i.e., 28 October 1997.

Pakistan has consistently supported efforts for the complete elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. In keeping with this objective, Pakistan became an original signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention in January 1993.

In accordance with the relevant provisions of the CWC (Article XXI), the Convention will enter into force for Pakistan on the 30th day following the date of deposition of its Instrument of Ratification.

As such Pakistan will attend the Second Session of the conference of States Parties to the Convention, to be held at The Hague from 1-5 December 1997, as a State Party.

Pakistan's Instrument of Ratification is accompanied by the following declaration:

"Pakistan has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of all chemical weapons and their production facilities. The Convention constitutes an international legal framework for the realization of this goal. Pakistan, therefore, supports the objectives and purposes of the Convention.

The objectives and purposes of the convention must be strictly adhered to by all states. The relevant provision on Challenge Inspections must not be abused to the detriment of the economic and security interests of the States Parties unrelated to chemical weapons. Otherwise, the universality and effectiveness of the convention is bound to be jeopardized.

Abuse of the verification provisions of the Convention, for purposes unrelated to the convention, will not be acceptable. Pakistan will never allow its sovereignty and national security to be compromised.

The convention should effectively facilitate trade, scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation in the field of chemistry for peaceful purposes. All export control regimes inconsistent with the Convention must be abolished."

In breach of the Declaration of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in South Asia signed between Pakistan and India in August 1992, India has carried out a clandestine chemical weapons programme. It is of utmost importance that all Indian chemical weapons production facilities and stockpiles must be urgently destroyed.

It is crucial for the success of the CWC that all possessors of chemical weapons must become parties to the convention and adhere to its provisions, including the complete and speedy destruction of the chemical weapons stockpiles. Only then would the Convention serve as an effective disarmament instrument.

All the provisions of the CWC must be implemented in an objective and faithful manner. This is especially true regarding the sensitive procedures governing verifications and inspections. In terms of challenges inspections, any frivolous or abusive inspection requests will undermine the Treaty and threaten its universality. In this context, the Government of Pakistan has further decided that:

i. Pakistan shall, in accordance with its constitutional process, domestic laws and national security interest, adopt the necessary measures and establish the necessary procedures to implement its obligations under the Convention.

ii. Pakistan will exercise its rights under paragraphs 2 and 4 of Part II of the Verification Annex to indicate its non-acceptance of inspectors and inspection assistants as it deems appropriate.

iii. Pakistan will at all times retain its sovereign right to take all necessary measure to protect its national security interests against disclosure of confidential and sensitive information unrelated to the CWC or intrusion into sensitive facilities unrelated to the convention or if the Convention is used to justify degrading Pakistan's defense capabilities unrelated to the CWC. Pakistan regards these as matters of "supreme national interests" as recognized under international law and provided for under Article XVI of the CWC.

Islamabad 29 October 1997