UNITED NATIONS - Reaffirming its support to the nuclear test ban treaty, Pakistan has told the UN General Assembly of its voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing since 1998, despite compelling regional security dynamics.

"A nuclear test ban is a noble aim and a means to achieve nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," Pakistani delegate Yasar Ammar told the 193-member Assembly meeting on Wednesday that marked the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

"Our commitment of not being the first to resume nuclear testing in our region also testifies our resolve to support treaty’s objectives and purposes," Ammar said.

Pakistan, he said, had made several proposals for keeping South Asia free of nuclear weapons and missiles since 1974 when nuclear tests were introduced in the region, but none of them met a favourable response.

"We have recently reiterated our willingness to translate the unilateral moratorium that we have been maintaining since 1998 into a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India," the Pakistani delegate said, while underscoring the need for balanced security environment in sensitive regions like South Asia.

"Formalisation of our proposal for a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India will not only contribute towards strengthening regional stability but it will also further the global efforts aimed at eradication of nuclear tests," Ammar added.  n addition to their perilous impacts on human health and environment, he said nuclear tests aggravate regional and international tensions by jeopardising regional strategic stability and widening mistrust among States leading to nuclear arms race. These tests  also eat up resources that could be diverted to development activities, he said.

Noting that this year’s commemoration of International Day against Nuclear Tests coincides with the 20th anniversary of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), he said that Pakistan had participated actively in the negotiations that led to the finalisation of the CTBT in the Conference on Disarmament.

“We voted in the favour of CTBT when it was transmitted to New York for adoption in the UNGA in 1996, he added.”