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Pakistan not to get Australian uranium: Envoy

world Updated: May 18, 2012 12:27 IST

IANS
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Pakistan is not eligible to buy uranium from Australia, outgoing High Commissioner Tim George has said.

"India has an exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which does not apply to Pakistan," Dawn quoted George as saying Thursday.

Islamabad wants access to Australian uranium after Canberra decided to approve its sale to India.

George, however, said cases of India and Pakistan were different at this stage.

The offer of sale of uranium to India was meant to boost trade and enhance Australia's relationship with that country, he said, adding Australia has also been pursuing a policy of strengthening relationship with Pakistan.

In January, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had said that Australia will not agree to export uranium to Pakistan.

This policy is an exception which recognises the compelling rationale and national interest for a change in relation to India only, she said.

"In the case of Pakistan, the issue does not arise as it does not have an exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group," she said.

"Not selling uranium to India made sense when it was part of a widely-supported international strategy to bring New Delhi into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," she said in answer to a question about the primary reason behind the lifting of the ban.

"But the US-India civil nuclear agreement of 2007 changed that strategy," Gillard added.