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Extend nuke deal to Pakistan: Aziz tells US

The Pak PM said that the extension would check fissile material production in S Asia and lower tension with India.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 18:23 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Notwithstanding Washington's refusal, Pakistan has sought extension of the Indo-US nuclear deal to it saying that this would help control the production of fissile material in South Asia and lower tension with India.

"The whole initiative of the nuclear deal can be enveloped in nuclear restraint regime which allows production of fissile material for all of South Asia, including India and Pakistan," Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said.

"We believe that a nuclear restraint regime around the whole issue will help control production of fissile material in South Asia and lead to peace and lowering of tension," Aziz, who is currently in New York to co-chair the reforms panel of United Nations, said.

Aziz said that adeal on the lines of theone reached between India and the United States was also important for Pakistan as its economy is growing at six to eight per cent a year and its "energy needs are very acute".

Pakistan believesthat more avenues of peaceful production of nuclear energy under IAEA safeguards and guidelines to meet its growing electricity needs would be good for the country and the region, he said.

Responding to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's statement that Washington had no plans to extend the nuclear deal to Pakistan, Aziz said, "I have said that Pakistan's energy needs are similar to that of India and we would like this opportunity to be used to come up with nuclear restraint environment".

First Published: Apr 07, 2006 18:23 IST