Russia signals support for Pakistan’s NSG candidature

To go with Pakistan-military-defence-exports,FOCUS by Nasir JAFFRYA Pakistani soldier (L) keeps watch as a PAC JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft, conceived and initially developed with the help of China, is pictured on static display at the International Defence Exhibition and seminar (IDEAS) in Karachi on December 3, 2014. A revamped version of Pakistan's JF-17 jet fighter took centre stage at a defence exhibition in Karachi this week as the restive nuclear-armed state looks to boost its role as a military exporter on the world stage. AFP PHOTO/Rizwan TABASSUM
Updated 18 December 2017
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Russia signals support for Pakistan’s NSG candidature

ISLAMABAD: A Russian diplomat speaking at a seminar on “Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Strategic Stability” signaled support for Pakistan’s lobbying since last year to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which has 48 member countries.
Pavel Didkovsky, the first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Islamabad, said on Friday that Moscow was not opposed and had no wish to block Pakistan’s application to join the NSG. While acknowledging efforts of Pakistan for regional stability, its declaration last year of a unilateral moratorium on nuclear weapon testing, and backing Russia’s stance on prevention of the arms race in a silent space war, he complimented Pakistan for adhering to international conventions on its national export program.
Didkovsky, speaking at a seminar organized by Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), added that a criteria-based approach for inclusion of non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NNPT) was possible to the NSG and his country. China, among other countries, is engaged in devising a framework suitable for all participants of the group.
Defense and foreign relations analyst Qamar Cheema said, speaking to Arab News: “It is a huge diplomatic victory for Pakistan to have Russia’s support to be a member of NSG.”
“It’s a very constructive approach,” said Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, hailing Russia’s support. “MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) and NSG are realizing the significance of Pakistan as a nuclear-capable state.”
Jaspal, a professor at Quaid-e-Azam University who participated as a speaker at the SVI seminar, said that the arms race in the region has diminished prospects of arms control. The arms race is sustained by the Western world’s patronage of India, which accepts the country in multilateral export control regimes such as Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and more recently the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, he continued. He said India was amassing weapons due to NSG’s waiver which the south Asian country is vying for.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group was founded in 1974 to prevent nuclear proliferation through stringent checks and balances over the material export, technology and equipment used for nuclear weapons manufacturing.
Pakistan, backed by Turkey and China, applied for NSG’s membership on May 19, 2016, and maintains that non-discriminatory criteria-based approach is needed for all non-NPT countries for inclusion in the group. The move is backed by several nations, including Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Furthermore, Pakistan’s former permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament and United Nations in Geneva, retired Ambassador Zamir Akram, said Pakistan was seeking to maintain strategic stability in South Asia as a state with credible deterrence.
Ambassador Akram, an expert on non-proliferation, also said India’s acquisition of triad delivery systems, regional political issues, uncertainty in Afghanistan, and Indian aggression at the disputed Pakistan-India border and its use of proxy agents to inflict damage on Pakistan, have put stability and deterrence at risk.
Pakistan’s defensive strategy, he said, has had an effective counterterrorism mechanism, developing low-yield weapons, sea-based deterrent, achieving multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle capability, and long-range ballistic missiles.
He emphasized: “But still we are ready for dialogue and more confidence-building measures to stabilize the situation.”
Cheema said: “Pakistan must lobby to be a member of all multilateral export control regimes. Pakistan has strong institutional apparatus for taking care of its sensitive nuclear installations, which the International Atomic Energy Agency has acknowledged many times.”


Man who killed newlywed during robbery executed in Texas

Alvin Braziel appears in a booking photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Austin, Texas, US, December 10, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Man who killed newlywed during robbery executed in Texas

  • The Whites, who had only been married 10 days, didn’t have any money on them but told Braziel they could get him some and they started walking back to their truck

HUNTSVILLE, Texas: A Texas inmate was executed Tuesday evening for fatally shooting a newlywed during a robbery more than 25 years ago.
Alvin Braziel Jr., 43, received lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the 1993 slaying of 27-year-old Douglas White, who was attacked as he and his wife walked on a jogging trail.
Braziel became the 24th inmate put to death this year in the US and the 13th executed in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state. He will be the last Texas inmate executed this year.
The execution was delayed about 90 minutes after the six-hour window defined by the warrant began at 6 p.m. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a last-minute appeal from Braziel’s attorneys.
As Douglas and Lora White walked along a community college jogging trail in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Braziel jumped out from behind some bushes with a pistol in his hand and demanded money.
The Whites, who had only been married 10 days, didn’t have any money on them but told Braziel they could get him some and they started walking back to their truck. But Braziel became angry with the couple and ordered them to the ground.
“Doug ... was praying, asked God to forgive him and Lora their sins because they both knew that this was it,” said Michael Bradshaw, the lead detective on the case for Mesquite police. “The last thing Doug said before Braziel fired the first round, he said, ‘Please God, don’t let him hurt Lora.’“
Braziel shot White once in the head and once in his heart.
Bradshaw said he believes Braziel would have also shot then-24-year-old Lora White but his gun malfunctioned. Braziel instead took her to bushy area near the trail and sexually assaulted her.
Douglas White’s murder was featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted” and a $20,000 reward was raised by the chiropractic college he had worked for as an electrician. Bradshaw said more than 40 potential suspects were interrogated and had their blood drawn for testing.
But White’s murder remained unsolved for over seven years.
“I really didn’t know that I would ever be able to solve it. But I really did not give up hope,” said Bradshaw, 63, who retired from Mesquite police in 2012.
Braziel was eventually tied to the killing in 2001 after he was imprisoned for sexual assault in an unrelated case and his DNA matched evidence from Lora White’s assault.
At his trial, Braziel said he wasn’t near the college during the killing.
Braziel’s attorneys didn’t immediately reply to emails and calls seeking comment on Tuesday.
Last week, his lawyers asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to stop his execution, arguing in part he should not receive lethal injection because he is intellectually disabled.
The Supreme Court held in 2002 that people convicted of murder who are intellectually disabled cannot be executed.
Braziel’s attorneys later withdrew their request.
Courts had previously turned down Braziel’s appeals that have focused on claims of mental illness and that he had suffered a childhood brain injury, saying Braziel refused to be examined by a mental health expert during his trial and that his family declined to help his defense attorneys obtain evidence of any mental health problems in Braziel’s family.
His attorneys also filed a last-minute appeal Tuesday, arguing that an emotional outburst at the 2001 murder trial from Lora White was unfairly elicited by prosecutors when she was shown on the witness stand a photo of her husband’s autopsied body.
Bradshaw said he still keeps in contact with Lora White and that she started a new life and is doing well.
“Lora wants it known that she’s prayed for Alvin Braziel and his family,” Bradshaw said.