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Pak doesn't oppose N-deal, but wants one too
K J M Varma in Islamabad | March 02, 2006 21:12 IST
Pakistan, on Thursday, said it has no objection to the Indo-US nuclear deal. However, it added, that it will ask for a similar arrangement when President George W Bush visits the country on Saturday.
"We have no objection. This is a deal between India and the United States," Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Information Minister, told reporters, reacting to the Indo-US agreement on civilian nuclear energy cooperation.
He, however, said President Pervez Musharraf would take up the matter with Bush and seek a similar arrangement for Pakistan as well.
The Pakistan Foreign Office, meanwhile, said the government was examining details of the Indo-US deal but, at the same time, was ready to accept all 'appropriate safeguards' if it gets same treatment from Washington.
'The agreement represents an important relaxation of the Nuclear Suppliers Group's existing guidelines and transfer of civilian nuclear technology from NSG members to non-NPT States', it said in a statement. 'Pakistan has the same claim and expectation for international cooperation under safeguards for nuclear power generation, especially because Pakistan is a fossil fuel deficit country and has a significant and fully safeguarded nuclear power generation programme'.
Pakistan also has an energy plan to produce 8800 megawatts from nuclear power generation upto 2030, the statement said, adding that the country's 'civilian nuclear power generation programme is under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and we accept all appropriate safeguards for nuclear power reactor in this sector'.
However, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is accompanying Bush to his visit to India, said on Wednesday that Pakistan 'is not in the same place as India', when asked if Islamabad too could qualify for the same treatment.
"We've been able to take Pakistan on its own terms and India on its own terms. We have programmes and relationships with Pakistan that would not be appropriate with India, and vice versa," Rice had said.
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