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Lawmaker objects to China helping Pak build N-reactors

world Updated: Oct 24, 2008 08:55 IST
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A critic of the Indo-US nuclear deal has raised objections over China helping Pakistan in building two new atomic reactors, saying that the agreement flouts the norms established by the NSG and would further "destabilise" South Asia.

"The Peoples' Republic of China has had a long history of nuclear cooperation with Pakistan. This history made China and Pakistan likely candidates for future nuclear cooperation in violation of NSG guidelines, which was always a concern for those of us who opposed Indo-US nuclear deal," Massachussetts Democratic Congressman Edward Markey said in his October 23 letter to the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Markey said, "Unfortunately, our concerns appear to be borne out in the events that are unfolding right now, which must be considered a direct consequence of the US-India nuclear deal."

"I strongly opposed the US-India nuclear cooperation deal on the grounds that it would gravely damage the vitally important nonproliferation regime. A key concern raised by this agreement was that waiving the international rules for India would set a precedent for other nations to flout international nuclear nonproliferation export controls for their allies or trading partners," he said.

China has built one nuclear reactor 'Chashma I' in Pakistan and is currently nearing completion of 'Chashma II'. The contracts for these reactors existed before China received membership in the NSG in 2004 and because of this China was allowed to complete work on them.