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'Pak should produce more fissile uranium for nukes'

Former foreign minister Abdul Sattar has, nevertheless, sought production of more fissile uranium for the country's weapons programme.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 14:09 IST

Urging Pakistan government to address the US' proliferation concerns, former Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar has, nevertheless, sought production of more fissile uranium for the country's weapons programme and expansion of nuclear cooperation with China to counter the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Pakistan cannot afford to "ignore concerns in Washington due to Pakistan's past failure in preventing leakage of sensitive nuclear technology by greedy persons in the Kahuta plant," he said referring to disgraced scientist AQ Khan, who headed the principle nuclear installation.

Khan is in house detention since he admitted to supplying nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Sattar said he believed the US Congress would approve the deal with few conditions and Pakistan should formulate concrete and rational policies to deal with the consequences.

"A more appropriate policy response would be replication of the Kahuta plant to produce more fissile uranium necessary to rationalise and upgrade Pakistan's minimum deterrence capability," Sattar, who retired as Foreign Secretary and later served as foreign minister till 2002, said in a article published in a local daily.

He also stressed on intensification of cooperation with China in nuclear power sector and a vigorous diplomatic efforts to persuade others to sell it modern power reactors.

Asserting that the issue of proliferation "cannot be swept under the carpet by verbal assurances," he said "the apparent reason for the deal being not extended to Pakistan was the fear of US and Western countries about the safety of Islamabad's nuclear weapons and the chances of them falling into the hands of terrorists."

First Published: Mar 22, 2006 17:47 IST