NSG’s ‘discriminatory’ approach will affect strategic stability of South Asia: Pak

Islamabad: Asserting that sustainable civil nuclear energy is essential for its future energy security and economic development, Pakistan has said a non-discriminatory approach by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is imperative to maintain strategic balance in the region.

“Any country’s specific exception will not be beneficial for non-proliferation regime and will affect strategic stability of

South Asia and credibility of the NSG itself,” Dawn quoted Nafees Zakaria, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman as saying.

Speaking at the weekly briefing yesterday, Zakaria said that Islamabad’s application for membership of the NSG stood on solid grounds of technical experience, capability and well-established commitment to nuclear safety.

Regarding the NSG membership, he said that his country has a principle-based stand of adoption of a non-discriminatory, equitable and criteria based approach, supported by a large number of NSG members.

Claiming that Pakistan has been operating secure and safeguarded nuclear power plants for over 42 years, he said that the country’s membership of NSG was in the interest of nuclear training countries as it would promote the group’s objective of non-proliferation.

On referring to an agreement signed between Japan and India on building six nuclear power plants in India’s Andhra Pradesh state, Zakaria said that his country’s position on the matter was clear that there should not be any discriminatory treatment to a country which was not even a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“It will further add to the reasons behind disturbing strategic stability in the region,” the spokesman said.

Speaking about the prospects for the Quadrilateral Coordination Group after the death of Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, he said the group was still functional.

He said that Islamabad has been making consistent efforts for peace in Afghanistan as it was in the interest of both countries, adding that Pakistan believes that a politically viable solution was important for Afghan peace and that the use of military force should be avoided.

Regarding the FIR that has been lodged against the drone strike by relatives of the driver who was killed along with Mansour, he said that it was their right to file a complaint and the judiciary was independent to take up the matter according to legal course.

Also speaking on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that New Delhi was ready for peace talks provided Islamabad stopped supporting terrorists, he pressed that terrorism had affected Pakistan more than any other country in the world.

He added that phenomenon of terrorism had resulted in the loss of lives of 60,000 Pakistanis and cast a huge impact on the country’s economy.

On China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said the project was of great economic significance not only for Pakistan and China but also for the entire region.

Zakaria said that CPEC was a flagship project which had six more programmes under the concept of ‘One Belt One Road’. (ANI)