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'Pak doesn't want to be obstructive to Indo-US N-deal'

Pakistan does not want to "obstruct" the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal but it should also be considered for such an accord without any "discrimination," says its Foreign Secretary Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

world Updated: Jul 24, 2008 21:34 IST

Pakistan does not want to "obstruct" the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal but it should also be considered for such an accord without any "discrimination," its Foreign Secretary Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in London on Thursday.

"We don't want to be obstructive," Qureshi said when asked how did he perceive the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement between India and the US at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London after delivering a lecture at the think tank.

At the same time, he said "there should not be any discrimination and Pakistan should also be considered for such a deal."

"We feel that an agreement should be such that it should not be discriminatory in nature. Pakistan has energy requirements and Pakistan should have the same," the minister said.

His statement assumes importance as media reports said that Pakistan has circulated a note among the key members of the IAEA Board of Governors questioning the urgency to waive the 45-day approval process and the 30-day notice for a meeting in the UN atomic watchdog in the case of India.

In his address to the think tank, Qureshi said as a nuclear weapons state Pakistan adhered to a doctrine of "minimum credible deterrence" and was opposed to any nuclear proliferation as well as arms race in the region. Accordingly, he said, the country had proposed "a strategic restraint regime" to India.

"We also believe that induction of anti-ballistic missiles would have a destabilising impact on the entire region," he said

Pakistan, the minister said, was committed to the prevention of nuclear proliferation and had developed a "foolproof" command and control structure to protect its "strategic assets."

"Further more effective export controls are in place. At the same time we believe that no restriction should be imposed on civilian nuclear cooperation under appropriate safeguards."

"As a fossil fuel-deficient country we need nuclear power generation to meet the growing needs of energy of our growing economy. We are prepared to accept all safeguards on our civilian nuclear power sector," Qureshi said.