'Indo-US deal will worsen tensions in South Asia'
An influential Pakistani newspaper has said in an editorial that the deal would make the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that neither India, nor Pakistan has signed, irrelevant.india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 15:00 IST
The Indo-US nuclear deal, now firmed up after the passage of legislation in the US, will "lead to worsening of tensions in South Asia," an influential Pakistani newspaper said on Monday. The News said in an editorial that the deal would make the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), that neither India, nor Pakistan has signed, irrelevant. Denied a similar deal by the Bush administration, Pakistan has generally been ambivalent towards the Indo-US cooperation. The editorial attacked the US and urged India, citing Islamabad's own example to "learn from the numerous US double standards with regard to Pakistan." Pakistan's pique has been more pronounced since its strong ally did not commit supply of nuclear power reactors during the visit of President Hu Jintao last month. But Hu discussed nuclear energy cooperation with India prior to the Pakistan visit. The editorial also advised India to look for its interests "within the region" by moving vigorously towards the Iran-Pakistan-India gas deal. It alleged that India's attitude to this project has been "cool" because of the well-known US hostility towards any project pertaining to Iran. The editorial also questioned whether the Indo-US deal was all about peaceful use of nuclear energy, calling the law passed by the US "Peaceful Nuclear Energy Cooperation Act (a misnomer if ever there was one)." "After the passage of the Act, Tehran is unlikely to take kindly to the New Delhi decision to support the United States in its opposition to the Iranian nuclear programme and could itself become cool to the project," the newspaper said.