Press Release: SSII & SECDIV joint seminar on Strategic Export Controls in Pakistan

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Press Release: December 14 2016

On Wednesday December 14, 2016, Strategic Studies Institute, Islamabad (SSII) and Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV), Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a joint seminar titled “Strategic Export Controls in Pakistan.”  Representatives from local embassies, the business community and officials from government departments attended the seminar.

Dr Shireen Mazari, DG SSII chaired the first session titled “Current Policy and Procedures.”  The speakers of the first session included Dr Zafar Ali, DG SECDIV, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Faizan Mansoor, Member (Executive) Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority and Mr. Ghulam Ali Malik (Secretary FBR Management. Dr Zafar Ali highlighted that Pakistan has a robust and effective strategic export control system that is based on comprehensive legislative, regulatory, administrative and implementation measures and underscored its salient features. Dr. Zafar Ali elaborated on the enforcement mechanism, SECDIV outreach and capacity building programme, Commodity Identification Training besides referring to Pakistan’s adherence to the NSG Guidelines.  He also said that our Policy Guidelines on Strategic Export Controls and Control Lists are in complete harmony with international best practices and NSG, MTCR, and AG. He remarked that Pakistan’s application for NSG was founded on solid grounds and it had the expertise, human resource, infrastructure as well as the ability to supply NSG Part-1 and Part-II items and the repeat of 2008 exemption to India would create another big hole in the international non-proliferation regime. The second speaker, Mr Ghulam Ali Malik highlighted the role of Customs in enforcing strategic trade controls in the country through capacity building; inter agency cooperation, collaboration with the World Customs Organisation and the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes. He also spoke about the role of Customs as a body to in collect revenues collection as well as protecting the interests of domestic industry. Over the years the role of Customs has increased manifold with the inclusion of security and terrorism related issues, specially trading in dual use items as areas of concern..  The third speaker, Mr. Faizan Mansoor talked about the safety and security of radioactive sources and highlighted the potential hazards of radioactive material. He further briefed the audience on various measures to protect the workers, people and environment from harmful radiation and mitigating the consequences of radioactive incidents. In concluding remarks, Dr Shireen Mazari emphasised that Pakistan had a good track record of nuclear safety and security, however, she pointed out that these measures were not properly publicised. We need to inform both the domestic audience and the international community about the various initiatives and measures that the country has undertaken to keep its nuclear material and facilities safe and secure, to detect, deter and prevent any sort of proliferation activity

In the second session, speakers talked about “Emerging Issues in Strategic Export Control.” Mr. Syed Muhammad Ali, Senior Research Fellow CISS, Brig Naeem Haider, Director (Arms Control, SPD) and Ms. Amina Afzal, Director SSII delivered presenations. Discussing Nuclear Safety & Security in Pakistan, Mr. Syed Muhammad Ali, stressed that Pakistan being a responsible nuclear weapon state had taken comprehensive and extensive measures for enhancing its nuclear security. He said that Pakistan has established a comprehensive and robust nuclear security regime and is confident about its ability to counter all kinds of nuclear security threats but is not complacent. Brig Naeem Haider spoke about the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and export control measures. He highlighted the role National Authority on CWC in fulfilling the country’s international obligations as well as serving as a national focal point. The country also has an active outreach programme to educate Customs authorities regarding national export control obligations under the CWC. Whilst discussing Strategic Trade Controls: Challenges for the Future and Policy Recommendations, Ms. Amina Afzal highlighted the emerging challenges in the field of strategic trade controls. She identified Intangible Technology Transfers including through cloud computing as being very far from the traditional work of Customs. She argued that the work of Customs and the role of strategic trade control was were difficult enough without the intangible aspects. Increased globalization has added several different aspects including brokering, transit and transshipment to the already complex world of strategic trade controls.

As chair of the session, Mr. Khalid Banuri, DG ACDA, (SPD) said that Pakistan had a robust albeit evolving strategic export control apparatus in place and in some cases was doing more than its international obligations. As a responsible country devoted to non-proliferation commitments, Pakistan remains earnestly engaged in promoting a culture of nuclear safety and security and also ensuring compliance with global non proliferation ideals. He also highlighted that Pakistan joined the CWC as a non possessor of chemical weapons while India had chemical weapons and it declared its possession when it was signing the CWC.

 

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