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Pakistan assured for its Nuclear Suppliers Group bid


ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi said on Monday Belarus and Kazakhstan have assured to support Pakistan’s bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Fatemi, in an interview, said Pakistan is expanding upon its relations with different countries including Russian and central Asian states.

He added that the president of Belarus would also visit Pakistan next month.

Fatemi also sought Belgium’s support for Pakistan’s NSG membership.

The special assistant on foreign affairs reiterated that Pakistan’s application for NSG is based on technical experience, capability and commitment to nuclear safety and security.

The need for adopting a non-discriminatory and objective approach was also emphasised during the Belgium visit.

Regarding Kashmir, the special assistant to the premier said the world supports Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will raise the issue at the United Nations General Assembly session.

China is leading opposition to a push by the United States (US) and other major powers for India to join the main club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology.

Other countries opposing Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) include New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria, diplomats said.

The 48-nation NSG aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by restricting the sale of items that can be used to make those arms.

India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington, even though India has developed atomic weapons and never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the main global arms control pact.

Opponents argue that granting it membership would further undermine efforts to prevent proliferation.

Pakistan, which responded to India’s membership bid with one of its own, has the backing of its close ally China.

US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier wrote to members asking them “not to block consensus on Indian admission to the NSG” in a letter seen by Reuters and dated Friday.

China, however, showed no sign of backing down from its opposition to India joining unless Pakistan becomes a member.

Most of the hold-outs oppose the idea of admitting a non-NPT state such as India and argue that if it is to be admitted, it should be under criteria that apply equally to all states rather than under a “tailor-made” solution for a US ally.


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