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Pak slams Indo-US N-deal

Pak said that a 'package deal' for the two neighbouring countries would have better served S Asia's strategic stability.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 03:35 IST

A day after a key committee in the Congress endorsed a bill to implement the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, a bitter Pakistan on Tuesday said it would not accept any "discriminatory treatment".

Pakistan also said that a "package deal" for the two neighbouring countries would have better served the strategic stability in South Asia.

"Pakistan does not accept any discriminatory treatment," a Foreign Ministry statement said, reacting to the House International Relations Committee's approval of a draft bill to make exemptions in US energy laws for implementing the deal.

"Strategic stability in the region would have been better served if American Administration has offered the agreement to Islamabad too as a package deal to prevent nuclear arms race in the subcontinent," said the statement issued by Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam.

"We have cautioned the international community about the consequences of this agreement for the shared objectives of stability in South Asia and a strong global non-proliferation regime," Aslam said of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

"...The objective of strategic stability in South Asia and the global non-proliferation regime would have been better served if the US had considered a package approach for Pakistan and India, two non-NPT nuclear weapons states, with a view to preventing a nuclear arms race and promoting restraints while ensuring that the legitimate needs of both countries for civilian nuclear power generation are met."

"While we will continue to act with responsibility in maintaining minimum credible deterrent and to avoid an arms race, we will remain fully committed to our security requirements and the needs of our economic development which demand growth in the energy sector including civilian nuclear power generation," the Foreign Office spokesperson said.

Pakistan's reaction followed reports that President Pervez Musharraf once again asked visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to extend the nuclear deal to it.