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Pakistan is a nuke proliferator, says Nicholas Burns

Last updated on: October 21, 2010 13:31 IST

Pak shouldn't seek nuke deal with US, says Burns


Former Under Secretary of State in the Bush Administration, Nicholas Burns has rubbished Pakistan's request for a civilian nuclear deal similar to India's saying," The AQ Khan network was the mother of all nuclear technology proliferators and Islamabad had some chutzpah to even make such a request."

Burns, co -chair of the project by the Center for a New American Security that rolled out a report titled 'Natural Allies: A Blueprint for the Future of US-India Relations', said, "It is no secret that the Pakistan government and the senior Pakistani government officials in town (for the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue) have been complaining that the Bush administration and now the Obama administration have not accorded the same opportunities to Pakistan of a civil nuclear agreement as we did with India."

Image: Former US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns
Photographs: Susan Cornwell/Reuters

'Pak is the leading nuke proliferator'

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Burns, now a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government where he teaches the practice of diplomacy and international politics, noted, "It's no secret why the Bush administration did not offer Islamabad a similar deal."

"Pakistan is a leading source--a leading contributor--in the past through the A Q Khan network of proliferation of nuclear materials in the world and India has been a responsible steward of nuclear materials," he said.

Thus, he argued that "we cannot think that these countries can be treated identically and we really have to separate our interests short and long-term."

Image: Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Khan

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Pakistan's concerns about India in Afghanistan are exaggerated

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Burns also dismissed the whining over India's involvement in Afghanistan as a threat to Pakistan's interests and asserted, "Pakistan's concerns about India's presence in Afghanistan have been grossly exaggerated."

"I see an India that is acting in infrastructure, in development and political support for the Karzai government," he said, and while acknowledging that "obviously, India has to be sensitive to the fact that Pakistan lives next door and has vital interests in Afghanistan," argued that "the problem I have with the government in Islamabad is it's not credible in asserting that somehow India is a threat to Pakistan's vital national interests."

Burns said, "I don't see that, I don't accept it, I never did and I probably never will."

Image: US President George Bush greets India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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