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Pak calls for cooperation between nuclear states

Pak Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri called for cooperation between nuclear states to prevent criminal groups getting their hands on nuclear weapons.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2004 11:29 IST

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri calledfor cooperation between nuclear states to prevent criminal groups getting their hands on nuclear weapons.

"The greatest danger that President Bush rightfully pointed out is the threat of non-state actors," Kasuri told a news conference on the second and final day of a visit to Poland, the first ever by Pakistan's foreign minister.

"You deal with non-state actors by interacting with states", he said, adding "cooperative engagement, constructive engagement with nuclear states" was needed.

He was referring to a call from Bushon Wednesdayfor global support for tighter curbs on nuclear know-how, taking aim at North Korea, Iran, and black-market sales by Pakistan's former top atomic expert Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Kasuri reiterated that Pakistan was not involved in nuclear proliferation, saying Khan would have acted in a personal capacity and not on behalf of his country.

"If there has been cooperation it was on a personal level, not the state of Pakistan," he said, ruling out any collaboration with the North Korean authorities on missile technology. He also said international investigations had shown Libya and Iran had not become become nuclear powers.

Questioned during the news conference on prospects for relations with India following a peace initiative, he called for "flexibility".

"There will be no solution unless there is flexibility on both sides," he said.

First Published: Feb 17, 2004 00:00 IST