Pak credentials stronger than India for NSG: Sartaj

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Sunday said Pakistan’s credentials for the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group are stronger than India’s if the 48-nation cartel agrees to form a uniform criteria for non-NPT states.
In an interview, Aziz said Pakistan has diplomatically engaged numerous countries over the criteria-based approach for non-NPT countries.
“If the group forms such a uniform criteria, then Pakistan has stronger credentials for NSG membership than India.”
“Our strategy was that when India will apply, we will immediately follow and we had our application in an advance state of readiness for the past three months for this this purpose,” Aziz said.
He claimed that Pakistan has gradually gathered support for the criteria based approach.
“Last week, I telephoned the Russian foreign minister, New Zealand’s foreign minister, Korean foreign minister, who will in future head the NSG, and our viewpoint was that they
should support the criteria-based approach, and we have gathered support for it, China was already supporting it,” said the adviser to PM. He expressed hope that, due to Pakistan’s efforts and its strong credentials, if India gains entry into the club, Pakistan will not be left behind.
Answering a question regarding nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan’s confession, he said Pakistan has come a long way since then and everyone has witnessed Pakistan safeguarding its nuclear assets.
“If you compare it with India, when our neigbouring country conducted a nuclear test in 1974, it misused the nuclear supplies given to it for peaceful purposes, which led to the formation of NSG. After that nuclear fissile material was stolen from India, but such an instance has never occurred in Pakistan,” Aziz said. Sartaj Aziz said US has formed a policy to ‘build up India’ as “their entire attention is towards containing the Islamic world and China”.

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