Indo-US nuclear deal will negatively impact South Asia: Sartaj Aziz

Updated Jan 28 2015

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Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz - Reuters/File
Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz - Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: In a formal response to statements and pledges made during US President Barack Obama's visit to India, Pakistan has 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.

The response addressed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Obama's announcement that they had reached an agreement to break the deadlock that has been stalling a civilian nuclear power agreement between the two countries.

The two countries in 2008 signed a landmark deal giving India access to civilian nuclear technology, but it has been held up by US concerns over India's strict laws on liability in the event of a nuclear accident.

While there were no immediate details on how the impasse had been broken, India has reportedly offered to set up an insurance pool to indemnify companies that build reactors in the country against liability in case of a nuclear accident.

In response, Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj 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 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 nonproliferation 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 further 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 & Kashmir dispute.

He said India, "by no means qualifies for a special status in the Security Council."