Pakistan Wants India-like Nuclear Deal with US

Washington, DC: Pakistan should have the same access to US civilian nuclear technology that President George W Bush has proposed for India, the Pakistani ambassador to the United States said.
Jehangir Karamat, Pakistan’s former army chief, also warned that “the balance of power in South Asia should not become so tilted in India’s favor, as a result of the US relationship with Delhi, that Pakistan has to start taking extraordinary measures to ensure a capability for deterrence and defense.”
The Bush administration is working to persuade Congress to approve a deal that would ship civilian nuclear technology to India in return for New Delhi’s placing its civilian facilities under safeguards of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.
Neither Pakistan nor India is a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the cornerstone of global efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons. Before nuclear technology can be shared with India, Congress must approve an exception to a US law that bans civilian nuclear cooperation with countries that have not submitted to the treaty’s full nuclear inspections.
Ambassador Karamat said Pakistani officials have yet to approach the Bush administration about civilian nuclear energy cooperation, but Pakistan plans eventually to broach the subject. He mentioned the strong military ties between the two countries, which include US training Pakistani soldiers and selling weapons to Pakistan.
The ambassador acknowledged widespread criticism of Pakistan’s nuclear program, especially “concerns on proliferation”. Karamat observed, “I think that those concerns have been largely met and satisfied. The whole structure on the ground for physical security and control of those (nuclear) assets and the various steps that have been taken to prevent accidents and illegal transfers — those are now foolproof, and the US is aware of that.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.