NEW DELHI: Islamabad has formally asked the US administration and Congress to support its application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), saying the atomic trading club should adopt an on discriminatory approach that treats India and Pakistan equally.
Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Jalil Abbas Jilani, said in a letter to the US Senate committee on foreign relations that Islamabad had taken a series of steps that qualify it for joining the NSG, the Dawn newspaper reported on Thursday.
While US President Barack Obama endorsed India’s application to join the NSG after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, the US administration and Congress are unwilling to support Pakistan, the report said.
Pakistan’s close ally China is among the countries opposing India’s application. The NSG makes decisions by consensus and India cannot join without China’s support .“Pakistan has consistently maintained that criteria-based, non-discriminatory approach, which treats both Pakistan and India equally, while also simultaneously binding them to appropriate non-proliferation commitments, will not only strengthen the non-proliferation regime but also promote strategic stability in South Asia,” the letter said.
“Pakistan’ s desire to participate in the NS G stand son solid grounds of technical experience, capability and well-established commitment to nuclear safety,” Jilani wrote.
He added Pakistan had operated “secure and safeguarded nuclear power plants” for more than 42 years, and that safe and sustainable nuclear energy is essential for the country’s future energy security.
Pakistan’s foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz said on Thursday expressed concern over growing India-US defence relations that are “disturbing” strategic and conventional balance of power in the region.
The US approaches Pakistan whenever it needs it, and abandons it when it doesn’t need the country, Aziz was quoted as saying by the media. “Pakistan will convey its concerns to US over the latest issues in the bilateral ties,” Aziz said, adding Pakistan and US officials are expected to meet in Islamabad on June 10.
A US-led push for India to join a club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology made some headway on Thursday as several opponents appeared more willing to work towards a compromise, but China remained defiant.
China on Thursday maintained its position that the Non-Proliferation Treaty is central to the NSG, diplomats said.
The handful of other nations resisting India’s admission to the group, including South Africa, New Zealand and Turkey, softened their stance somewhat, opening the door to a process under which non-NPT states such as India might join, diplomats said.
“There’s movement, including towards a process, but we’d have to see what that process would look like,” one diplomat said after the closed-door talks on Thursday aimed at preparing for an annual NSG plenary meeting in Seoul later this month.