Pakistan holds seminar on nation's role in CWC

Pakistan's Institute of Policy Studies recently held a seminar on the country's role as a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention and its effort to end the threat of chemical warfare.

Several of the attendees, made up of security experts, diplomats and analysts, said that Pakistan needs to make an effort to augment and promote its role as a supporter of the CWC, according to

Director of the Pakistan National Authority for CWC and Disarmament Coordination Lt. Colonel Azfar Bilal began the seminar by giving a comprehensive overview of the history and issues pertaining to Pakistan and the CWC.

Pakistan joined the convention in 1993 as a non-possessor of chemical weapons. Bilal said Pakistan has since then been involved in supporting global disarmament as part of its overall security policy and added that it has been a member of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapns since 1998 and a coordinator of its Asian Group since 2004.

Other seminar participants were harshly critical of India's entrance into the CWC in 1997. They said that India possessed chemical weapons at that time and considered its dedicated chemical weapons program as a breach of bilateral trust and a violation of diplomatic norms since both countries originally signed the convention in 1993, according to

Deputy General of the Institute of Policy Studies Khalid Rahman told the audience in his concluding remarks that Pakistan should take pride in its conduct as part of the CWC, saying the country has been acknowledged and appreciated in the international community for its efforts. He said that Pakistan has been selected as a mentor state for developing countries and said it would be critical to consistently highlight its efforts to defeat malicious propaganda from hostile parties. He did not indicate to which parties he was referring.