- PM’s adviser says Pakistan expects US to play constructive role for strategic stability and balance in South Asia
- Aziz says Islamabad should not face discrimination in access to civil nuclear technology and materials
- Says India ‘by no means qualifies for a special status in UN Security Council’
The Pakistani government had sharp words as President Barack Obama concluded his three-day trip to neighbouring India, issuing a statement saying it had “taken careful note of statements made and agreements reached” in New Delhi.
On the top of the list: US-India civil nuclear cooperation. During the visit, the United States and India announced a breakthrough in their discussions on the implementation of a pact on nuclear power. But the agreement, signed in 2008, has been a cause of concern for Islamabad, which argues it will destabilize the strategic balance of power between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
In a statement released by the Foreign Office on Tuesday, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Islamabad should not face discrimination in access to civil nuclear technology and materials.
He said that an Indo-US nuclear deal struck for “political and economic expediencies” would have a detrimental impact on nuclear deterrence and overall stability in South Asia.
Aziz said Pakistan expects to see the US play a constructive role for strategic stability and balance in South Asia. He added that Pakistan reserves its right to safeguard its national security interests.
Reacting to the joint statement suggesting that India is ready to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other nuclear export control regimes, the PM’s adviser said Pakistan is opposed to “yet another country-specific exemption” from NSG rules to grant membership to India.
Aziz argued that such a move would further compound the already fragile strategic stability in South Asia, and would further undermine the credibility of NSG, while weakening the non-proliferation regime.
Addressing the impression that Pakistan is not playing its due role in countering terrorism, the adviser said cooperative and collective actions by all member states are required to effectively tackle the global threat.
“Pakistan also a victim of terrorism, including that sponsored and supported from abroad,” the adviser said. “Pakistan rejects any insinuation or aspersion over its commitment to fight terrorism. Condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations should not be based on selectivity or double standards,” he added.
Strongly opposing the granting of any special status to India at the UN Security Council, the adviser said India stands in violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on matters of international peace and security, such as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
He said India, “by no means qualifies for a special status in the Security Council”.