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Why Pak DID NOT oppose Indo-US nuclear deal

Last updated on: October 23, 2010 18:54 IST

Why Pak DID NOT oppose Indo-US nuclear deal

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Pakistan did not oppose the George W Bush administration's move to ink a civil nuclear agreement with India because it expected it would receive a similar deal from the United States, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.

"When former President George W Bush sought support for the India-US civil nuclear deal, we said we will not oppose it because Pakistan is expecting the same from you," Gilani said during an interaction with the Diplomatic Correspondents Association of Pakistan.


Image: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

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Gilani said Pakistan expects the US to give it a civil nuclear deal similar to the one finalised with India in order to create a 'balance and strategic stability' in South Asia. Such a move would also put both the nuclear-armed neighbours at par, he said.

The premier was responding to a question on whether Pakistan was being discriminated against by the US on the issue of being given a civil nuclear deal. Gilani contended that his participation in a recent nuclear summit hosted by US President Barack Obama was recognition of Pakistan's nuclear programme.


Image: A file photo of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with then US President George W Bush

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In his opening remarks at the interaction, Gilani said Pakistan is a 'responsible nuclear weapons state' whose atomic capability was meant 'only for deterrence'. "We are well aware of the responsibilities that come with this status. Strategic stability in South Asia is important for ensuring peace," he said.

Pakistan has been pressuring the US to give it a civil nuclear deal on the lines of the one inked with India. Senior US officials have acknowledged that preliminary talks have been held with Pakistan on the issue but have ruled out the possibility of such a deal being finalised in the near future.

Besides concerns about the clandestine proliferation ring led by disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan, the US has raised questions about China's plans to supply two nuclear reactors to Pakistan, a move that experts have said will violate the rules of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.


Image: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna

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