Indo-US N-deal to impact deterrence stability in South Asia: Pakistan

Indo-US N-deal to impact deterrence stability in South Asia: Pakistan

Peeved at the breakthrough in the operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, Pakistan today said the move for “political and economic expediencies” would have a “detrimental” impact on deterrence stability in South Asia.

Hours after US President Barack Obama concluded his unprecedented second visit to India, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz opposed India’s bid for membership to the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

“The operationalisation of Indo-US nuclear deal for political and economic expediencies would have a detrimental impact on deterrence stability in South Asia. Pakistan reserves the right to safeguard its national security interests,” he said.

Reacting to the US’ backing to India’s NSG membership bid, Aziz said, “We have also noted the Joint Statement suggesting that India is ready for NSG membership and other export control regimes.

“Pakistan is opposed to yet another country-specific exemption from NSG rules to grant membership to India, as this would further compound the already fragile strategic stability environment in South Asia, would further undermine the credibility of NSG and weaken the non-proliferation regime.”

Aziz asserted that Pakistan remains opposed to policies of “selectivity and discrimination”.

“Pakistan is not averse to civil nuclear cooperation and NSG membership for non-NPT states provided it is based on the principles of non-discrimination and objective non- proliferation criteria,” he said.

He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to maintain its constructive engagement with NSG and other export control regimes to build its case for membership.

Aziz also opposed India’s permanent UNSC membership bid, saying, “A country, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions on matters of international peace and security, such as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, by no means qualifies for a special status in the Security Council.” During his India visit, President Obama also reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member.

Aziz said Pakistan, along with a large majority of UN member states, favours a comprehensive reform of the 15-member Security Council to make the principal organ of the United Nations more representative, democratic, effective, transparent and accountable. “Proposals to add new centres of privilege in the Security Council run counter to these collective objectives of Security Council reform; and have no rationale in this age of democracy, inclusiveness and accountability,” Aziz said in reference to India’s bid for a permanent seat at the UNSC. “Pakistan supports a reformed Security Council that corresponds to the positions and collective interests of all member states, not just a few,” he said in a statement.

Aziz said Pakistan values its relations with the US and expects it to play a constructive role for strategic stability and balance in South Asia.

“We have taken careful note of statements made and agreements reached between the United States and India on issues having a global and regional impact during President Obama’s visit to India,” he said. In reference to terrorism, Aziz said, “Cooperative and collective actions by all member states are required to effectively tackle the global threat of terrorism. Pakistan is a leading partner of the international community in counter-terrorism.”

“We also expect the same commitment from others. Pakistan is also the biggest victim of terrorism, including that sponsored and supported from abroad. Pakistan rejects any insinuation or aspersion over its commitment to fight terrorism,” he said.

Aziz asserted that condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations should not be based on “selectivity or double standards”.

“Pakistan reiterates its call on India to bring the planners and perpetrators of the February 2007 Samjhauta Express terrorist attack to justice,” he said.