India believes the United States signing a civil nuclear agreement with Pakistan would be an arduous process, but remains wary of the implications from such an agreement for the country.
There is also a reading that the US is floating the prospects of a pact partly because Washington wants India to align itself more with them in terms of military and strategic cooperation.
Though a nuclear agreement is not expected during the ongoing visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the US, the intent for the same has gathered steam.
For the US, a nuclear pact with Pakistan would help contain dangers of proliferation, stabilise the region and halt the possibility of nuclear weapons ending up with extremists.
Pakistan, which has the strategic geographical advantage, has remained the US’ key ally. “But any effort to bracket India with Pakistan on the nuclear issue would be baffling,” said a government official.
Any US-Pakistan pact would neutralise India’s moral high ground that its non-proliferation track record helped it clinch nuclear cooperation pacts and waiver from the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Any such pact would make Pakistan a contender for membership to the NSG. But sources said a Pakistan-US deal will run into many hurdles including fierce objection from the Congress and said Washington has been “dangling the carrot of a deal” so that India would further its ties with the US in key areas.
“We have seen these reports and it is not for the first time this issue has surfaced. Whosoever is examining that particular dossier should be well aware of Pakistan’s track record in proliferation. And when India got this particular deal, it was on the basis of our own impeccable non-proliferation track record,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said.