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Pak seeks international cooperation on civil nuclear energy

PTI 08 Oct 2015, 20:58:28 IST

Islamabad: Pakistan today said it was seeking international cooperation, including with the US, on civil nuclear energy, amid reports that America is negotiating a deal with it that might lead to an agreement similar to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

"As a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan remains actively engaged with the international community, including the United States, on nuclear stability and security issues," Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said during a weekly news briefing here.

He was responding to a Washington Post report that the US is negotiating a pact on new limits on Pakistan's nuclear weapons and delivery systems, a deal that might lead to an agreement similar to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

The White House has neither confirmed or denied the report. It just said that the US is in regular contact with Pakistan on a range of issues ahead of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Washington on October 22.

Strategic export control experts from Pakistan and the US last month discussed the best practices to maintain strict control over non-proliferation of nuclear materials.

The Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan is generating nuclear energy to meet its energy demands.

"There should be a non-discriminatory approach on nuclear issues, including Pakistan's access to peaceful use of nuclear energy," he said.

Earlier, in a statement he said that Pakistan's nuclear policy is shaped by evolving security dynamics of South Asia, "growing conventional asymmetry, provocative doctrines and aggressive posturing by India, which obliges us to take all necessary measures to maintain a full spectrum deterrence capability in order to safeguard our national security, maintain strategic stability and deter any kind of aggression from India."

He also said that Pakistan seeks peace and strategic stability in South Asia as corner stone of its policy and considers conflict resolution as a means to achieve this end.

"This policy has been reiterated by Pakistan's highest decision-making body, the National Command Authority (NCA), chaired by the Prime Minister, in its meeting on September 9, 2015," he said.

The Washington Post report talked at length about the possible cooperation by the US with Pakistan in return of a commitment by Islamabad to keep its programme focused on possible threat India and not to indulge in the development of long range missiles.

It said that such an agreement might eventually "open a path toward a Pakistani version of the civil nuclear deal that was launched with India in 2005".