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Rediff.com  » News » US ambassador rejects Pak nuke deal plea

US ambassador rejects Pak nuke deal plea

September 30, 2008 19:44 IST
US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson has said it was not possible for the United States to extend any cooperation to the latter in nuclear energy sector as the issue involved a lot of legislation.

Pakistan has been seeking cooperation from the US and other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

However, none of these countries have so far responded positively to repeated requests by Pakistan, which came under severe international criticism in 2003 when the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed involvement of top Pakistani nuclear scientist A Q Khan in proliferation of nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

''The US does not want to destabilise Pakistan, rather it is making efforts to help this country become stable and economically viable,'' Patterson said in Lahore.

Addressing members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday, she said the US wanted long-term, broad-based relations with Pakistan, adding Washington would announce a US $ 100 million dollar package for its agriculture sector soon.

The ambassador emphasised that the US would continue and increase bilateral trade and investment in Pakistan.

She said despite some economic difficulties, the volume of trade between the two countries had been increasing and the fact remained that the US was the largest single investor and donor of the country.

As many as 90 new US development projects in social sector are in the pipeline that, according to the officials, will get a final shape as soon as the overall law and order situation in Pakistan takes a positive turn.

Chamber of commerce president Mohammad Ali Mian said Pakistan's economic profile had been badly affected for being an ally of the US, adding it was facing mass unemployment due to the cancellation of export orders from buyers.

He said the country was not seeing any further industrialisation and foreign investment.

Pakistan's textile industry is heavily dependent on the US market as almost 60 per cent of the textile products are exported to the US alone.

''Pakistan badly needed the US support in shape of duty free access to its markets to save its people, who are fighting the war against terrorism as a frontline state with America,'' Mr Mian added.

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