This world belongs to you more than it belongs to the older generation. It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to keep in mind the problems which confront the world today.
By the common consensus of all world leaders disarmament is the most important problem facing us today. Mr. Khrushchev has called it the question of questions and the problem of problems. The choice before mankind is literally either to disarm or perish. A nuclear war, despite some claims to the contrary, may well end the human race.
Yet another attempt is being made at the 17 nations’ conference, which is currently meeting in Geneva, to explore the possibilities of halting the ever accelerating arms race. At present there is a precarious military balance between the Soviet bloc and the Western powers. It is contingent on the capability of either side to keep abreast of the other in the deadly competition for devising weapons’ systems of ever increasing destructive power. A technological breakthrough by either side could destroy this balance and plunge the world into the abyss of ultimate catastrophe.
For the last few weeks we have been reading of the successful testing by the Soviet Union of such terrible weapons of mass destruction as the 70 megaton hydrogen bomb and a global rocket which, it is claimed, will render useless all anti-missile defence and prompt warning systems against surprise attack. The United States has not been idle either. Only recently it has tested a new inter-continental ballistic missile of virtually unlimited range which can deliver nuclear warheads to any point on the globe. While the two nuclear colossi are straining every nerve to be the first to secure domination of outer space and planets in order to achieve military superiority over the other side, the lesser military powers are themselves acquiring the science and technology to manufacture nuclear weapons. The next five years are likely to see the emergence of some dozen or more new nuclear powers and, thereby, the multiplication of the danger of nuclear war.
The problems of disarmament and the maintenance of world peace are thus becoming more dangerous and intractable day by day.
It is under the shadow of this menace that the 17 powers are exploring the possibilities of general and complete disarmament first demanded by Mr. Khruhschev in 1959. What are the prospects of reaching this objective? For almost two decades the goals of disarmament, whether comprehensive or partial, have been discussed by turns in vain. All attempts to make progress towards an agreement have foundered on the rock of inspection and control. The slogan has been—no disarmament without control; no control without disarmament: but disarmament under control.
Despite fifteen years of negotiations between the East and the West, it has been impossible for the two sides to reach any agreement on even minimal measures of disarmament under international inspection and control.
Take the question of nuclear weapons testing. The scientists of the Soviet bloc and the Western powers are agreed that it is feasible to devise a detection system against tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, under the oceans and underground except for hidden explosions under certain extreme conditions; yet no agreement has been reached, after more than three and a half years of negotiations between the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union on a treaty to permanently ban nuclear testing under international inspection and control.
It is, therefore, encouraging that negotiations between the two sides have been resumed in a sub-committee of the current Geneva conference. Once again time is the essence of the problem.
The United States has served notice to the world that unless a test ban treaty is agreed upon before the end of April, 1962, it will resume atmospheric nuclear testing in order to safeguard its own security against the breakthrough achieved by the Soviet Union as a result of its last series of tests in violation of the de facto moratorium which had existed for more than three years.
It is not a good augury that evens the least intractable of the problems of disarmament—such as the cessation of nuclear weapons testing under international inspection and control, should continue to defy all attempts at a solution.
The peoples of the world may well react with skepticism and despair to the current talks in Geneva on general and complete disarmament. Yet, the need for a solution is so urgent and the consequences of a failure so awesome, that skepticism and despair must not be permitted to make ourselves resigned to the role of a chorus in a Greek tragedy in which the fates and furies of darkness and destruction drive man inexorably to his doom.
The fifteen years of negotiations on disarmament have not been entirely barren. Last year, the Soviet Union and the United States were able to reach agreement on certain general principles within the framework of which a treaty on general and complete disarmament is to be negotiated. While there is a great area of common agreement in this formulation, a wide gulf still separates the two sides in regard to the interpretation of some of these principles. The basic disagreement relates to the question of inspection and verification. The United States believes that in order to ensure against evasion and circumvention of controls, not only each agreed measure of disarmament that is implemented must be verified but also that what remains in the hands of each side after the implementation of the agreed measure, must also be verified. The Soviet Union agrees to the first proposition. It rejects the second. This is the crux of the entire disarmament problem.
Another basic disagreement between the two sides relates to the technological difficulties of detection of hidden stockpiles of nuclear weapons. While it is perfectly possible to inspect and control the current and future production of nuclear weapons, there is no sufficiently safe system of detecting stocks of weapons which may be hidden by the one side or the other. It is this technological problem which has brought negotiations on the question of nuclear disarmament to a stalemate since 1955. It is encouraging to note, however that some recent advances in arms control measures seem to hold out the prospect of reducing the margin of error in inspection systems to detect hidden stockpiles to the point that the degree of risk involved may be considered not unacceptable in relation to the imperative of disarmament.
The prospects of nuclear disarmament, that is, the total elimination of thermo-nuclear and nuclear weapons of mass destruction, such as hydrogen and atomic bombs and the means of their delivery, such as rockets and missiles do not seem to be immediately within reach.
In my view it would be more constructive for the Geneva conference to address itself to the task of achieving agreement on those aspects of disarmament which lend themselves to effective controls and to proceed to implement those measures immediately. In my statement to the Political Committee of the General Assembly on October 18, 1960, I had, after making a comparative evaluation of the disarmament plans of the Western powers and the Soviet Union, ventured to suggest for immediate implementation, the following partial disarmament measures under effective international control but as an integral part of a programme of general and complete disarmament:
(i) prohibition against placing into orbit or stationing in outer space of vehicles carrying weapons of mass destruction;
(ii) cessation of the production of fissionable material for weapons purposes and the transfer of agreed quantities of such material from past production to non-weapons uses;
(iii) prior notification of proposed launchings of missiles as an immediate step to reduce the risk of war by accident or miscalculation;
(iv) appropriate measures to give greater protection against surprise attack as an initial step towards safeguarding the world against such an attack;
(v) prohibition of wider dissemination of nuclear weapons, that is, no nuclear weapons should be transferred by nuclear powers to nonnuclear ones and that non-nuclear powers should refrain from acquiring or manufacturing such weapons;
(vi) substantial reduction of armed forces and conventional armament to be carried out by agreement between the two sides under international inspection and control. The United States had proposed that the armed forces of the Soviet Union and the United States should be reduced, in the first stage of disarmament, to 2.7 million each. The Soviet Union had insisted on a reduction to 1.7 million. As a compromise, I proposed a figure of 2.1 million.
The Soviet Union and the United States have both submitted to the current Geneva disarmament conference revised versions of their earlier disarmament plans. It gives me pleasure to note that the United States is now ready to accept a more substantial measure of disarmament in the initial stages than it had been two years ago. Last September, it agreed to the figure of 2.1 million in the first stage for the armed forces of the Soviet Union and the United States with a proportionate reduction of conventional armaments to be followed by further reductions of armed forces and armaments. The new US plan also proposes a 30 per cent reduction in nuclear delivery vehicles and major conventional armaments in the first stage of the disarmament programme together with complete cessation of further production of fissionable material for weapons purposes and the transfer of 50,000 kilogrammes of weapons grade uranium 235 to non-weapons uses by each side.
Despite these advances over past US plans the gap between the United States proposals and those of the Soviet Union still remains wide.
In view of this situation, I would like to reiterate for the consideration of the powers concerned that they address themselves to the task of reaching a limited disarmament treaty on the initial measures of disarmament that I first enumerated on 18th October, 1960, and which I repeat today. These initial measures are capable of immediate implementation. The passage of time has not in any way detracted from the force of argument in favour of this approach. On the contrary, it has reinforced the need to deal with partial disarmament on a priority basis instead of postponing its execution until an agreement has been reached on a global treaty of general and complete disarmament.
There is another factor which reinforces the argument in favour of this limited approach and that is the non-participation of the Peoples’ Republic of China in the Geneva Conference. China is a great power and the goal of general and complete disarmament would be impossible of achievement except with the participation of this great neighbouring country and its acceptance of any such disarmament scheme. Pending this eventuality, the only realistic approach to the disarmament problem is to first proceed to implement the initial measures of disarmament that I have enumerated.
There is also the problem of the further enlargement of the number of nuclear powers. Quite a few countries are feverishly engaged in the manufacture of fissionable material for weapons purposes with a view to forcing their entry into the atomic club. We cannot but regard this as a development of grave consequence which will inevitably result in destroying the balance of strength in the different regions of the world and, consequently, lead to a further aggravation of tensions and threats to peace.
The Geneva conference has an equal number of representatives of the two great military combinations of the world—NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries—five on each side. In addition to these ten, there are eight “uncommitted” countries selected from Latin America, Asia, Europe and Africa. While Pakistan welcomes this representation, it is constrained at the same time to draw attention to the fact that the composition of the conference ignores the military realities in certain regions of the world and notably in that of South Asia. Disarmament negotiations must not only seek to preserve the equilibrium between the military strength of the East and the West on a global basis at each and every stage of the disarmament process, but must also maintain the balance of power between the militarily significant countries of each region. Viewed in this perspective, the membership of the Geneva conference is not fully representative of the militarily significant states of the world and, consequently, its composition does not fully reflect the realities in certain regions of the world.
There is one other aspect of disarmament on which I must touch before I turn to other international issues.
A few days ago a ten-nation group of experts established by the General Assembly in 1960 to study the economic and social consequences of disarmament presented a report on the subject. The establishment of this group by the Assembly was the outcome of my initiative in the Fifteenth Session of the General Assembly in 1960. As leader of the Pakistan delegation, in my statement to the Political Committee on October 18th, I drew attention to the need of carrying out a study of the economic and social consequences of disarmament. Apart from the reason that a substantial reduction of military expenditure was bound to set in motion changes in the domestic economies of states and in international economic relations, there were other equally important reasons why a scientific analysis of the economic and social consequences of disarmament was both urgent and imperative. Widespread fear existed among the nations lest a reversal of the arms race may result in a world wide economic crisis. Such fears needed to be dispelled if the full support of the peoples of the world was to be mobilized in the crusade against an arms race. The Pakistan resolution on the expert study was adopted by the General Assembly without a single negative note.
In accordance with the terms of reference, which had been proposed for the expert group in that resolution by Pakistan, the group of experts has submitted its unanimous conclusion that “achievement of general and complete disarmament would be an unqualified blessing to all mankind.” It has also recorded its findings that all the problems and difficulties of transition from an armaments economy to a peace economy could be met by appropriate national and international measures.
It is also the finding of the group that disarmament would probably have a favorable effect on the trade of underdeveloped countries, accelerating their economic growth and resulting in greatly expanded aid from the more advanced nations in a disarmed world. Governments would accord higher priorities to education, health, welfare, social security and the cultural development of their people.
It gives me immense pleasure to take note of the report of the ten-nation group of experts as Pakistan can take legitimate satisfaction in the result of its constructive initiative in the Fifteenth Session of the General Assembly.
Among other major problems before the world, besides disarmament, is that of colonialism in its dying manifestations. The emergence of the new nations of Asia and Africa during the last 15 years has released a new force of the greatest significance to the history of the world. The affairs of mankind must now be ordered by all its races and peoples co-operating together as sovereign equals. The epoch of colonialism with its concomitant evils of subjugation, of discrimination of one people by another, has gone into the limbo of history. Nevertheless, there are vestiges of colonial rule in certain residual areas of Asia and Africa where the struggle for national liberation is being carried on fiercely. As a former colonial country itself, Pakistan will maintain its solidarity with the struggle for self-determination and independence of all the peoples of Africa and Asia.
The cease-fire in Algeria, after more than 7 years of heroic struggle against colonial rule, marks the culmination of a fight for independence which is unique in history. By any standards of valour and sacrifice, the people of Algeria deserve to rank among the great peoples of the world. We have no doubt that the same qualities for which they have become renowned in war will make them pre-eminent in the tasks of peaceful reconstruction of their national life.
As Pakistan has arisen from a consciousness of Islamic solidarity and fraternity, we cannot but be abidingly concerned about the vicissitudes in the fortunes of the Muslim world. It is even established as a principle of our new Constitution that
“Bonds of unity amongst Muslim countries should be preserved and strengthened ....”
The unity of the Muslim world is spiritual and emotional. It is our task to strengthen the consciousness of solidarity among the Muslim people and to forge closer international co-operation among them for protecting their national sovereignty, independence and security. For the last 14 years the national sovereignty, independence and security of a large part of the Islamic world—the Arab countries—has been menaced by the establishment of the state of Israel against all the principles of international law as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The transgressions of Israel against the law of the Charter and the resolutions of the General Assembly are well known. This aggressive state is about to embark on yet another aggression by diverting the life-giving waters of the Jordan river to deprive millions of Arabs in the surrounding countries of their right to livelihood. It is the inescapable responsibility of the Security Council, which is now seized of this situation, to take all necessary measures under the Charter of the United Nations to halt a renewal of Israeli aggression and to suppress breaches of international peace.
I now come to the most dangerous spark which is likely to ignite a conflagration that will be difficult to contain within the limits of the region. I refer to India’s forcible occupation of Kashmir which constitutes a grave threat to peace. Pakistan lives for peace, but to stop the march of the people of Kashmir towards their goal of self-determination with bayonets is condemnable aggression. The general uprising of the people in Kashmir against the Dogra rule started long before the advent of independence in the subcontinent. That struggle of the great people of Kashmir was led, amongst other freedom fighters, by Sheikh Abdullah. Is it not ironical that the present Prime Minister of India was a stalwart supporter of that freedom movement in Kashmir? The greed for aggrandizement superseded the cause of liberation with the result that all norms of international morality were discarded and the state of Jammu and Kashmir occupied against the will of its people. It is the same Dogra Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir who signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan at the time of independence. It is the same Dogra Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir who fled the state when the freedom movement gained momentum. It is the same Dogra Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir who while on the run, signed a paper acceding the state to India. This fraudulent accession has been the greatest corrupting influence on the ethics of international relations. Naturally, world opinion condemned India for its policy of duplicity. India thought it expedient to pledge to the world that the accession was subject to a reference to the people of Kashmir. Pakistan only demands that the promised reference be made. The four and a halt million people of Kashmir should not, and cannot, be denied their God given right of self-determination. They must be allowed to decide their future. The United Nations must realise that the Kashmir issue may well be one of those grave issues which will decide the future of that world body. True, we cannot live and progress without peace but there can be no peace without the solution of the Kashmir problem.