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US rules out India-type civil nuclear deal with Pak

Barack Obama

Washington : The US has “categorically ruled out” a nuclear deal with Pakistan similar to the Indo-US nuclear agreement, terming the reports in American media as “completely false”.

“Let me state categorically, we have not entered into negotiations on 123 Agreement with Pakistan nor are we seeking an exception for Pakistan within the nuclear supplier group in order to facilitate civil nuclear exports,” a senior US official said after President Barack Obama met Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the White House here yesterday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, was responding to questions on reports appearing in the American media that US was considering a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan.

“There is no such thing as a nuclear deal which has been reported in the media. What has been reported in (US) media is some sort of a civilian nuclear package alleged to be something like the one US concluded with India 10 years ago.

“Let me just assure you categorically that the press allegations of a 123 Agreement with Pakistan are completely false,” the official added.

Pakistan has made it clear its interest in civilian nuclear cooperation and it is called socio-economic imperative because of energy shortfalls, the official noted.

Leaders of the two countries, however, did discuss on Pakistan’s nuclear safety and security which is an ongoing discussion.

The 123 Agreement signed between the US and India is known as Indo-US nuclear deal. The framework for this agreement was done in 2005.

“We have a long standing dialogue with Pakistan about its nuclear programme, and various developments in this programme.

“We are particularly concerned and have expressed these concerns to Pakistan that there is requirement of all countries possessing nuclear weapon to ensure the safety, security of these weapons and do everything it can to promote strategic stability. So we will continue to engage in dialogues like this with Pakistan,” the official said.

It is the understanding of the US that Pakistan is very well aware of the full range of potential threat to nuclear arsenal including from terrorist groups that operate on its soil. Other Pakistani military facilities have been attacked.

“So they are very well aware of the terrorist threats including to all aspects of their military installations and its our understanding that they have a dedicated security apparatus that understands the importance of nuclear security,” the official said.

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