Pakistan warns India against nuclear tests

Pakistan Monday hinted it would renounce its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing if India were to resume trials, last carried out by both countries nine years ago.

Pakistan warns India against nuclear tests
Pakistan Monday hinted it would renounce its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing if India were to resume trials, last carried out by both countries nine years ago.

New Delhi has said its right to conduct tests will not be undermined by a bilateral civilian nuclear deal with the United States, which has raised concerns here.

Washington has said there would be no such deal with Pakistan, its front-line ally in the ongoing battle to contain global terrorism.

"We take seriously the assertions by the India leadership about the possibility of resuming nuclear tests," foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told a weekly briefing.

"Resumption of nuclear tests by India would create a serious situation, obliging Pakistan to review its position, and to take action appropriate and consistent with our supreme national interest," she said.

Under the agreement with Washington, New Delhi can buy atomic fuel, technology, and plants, even though it is not party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The agreement, finalized last month after nearly two years of negotiations, has drawn heavy and widespread criticism from Indian opposition parties and the government's communist allies, who say it will limit India's strategic options.

Aslam said that Pakistan had proposed a nuclear test ban treaty to India to end the arms race in South Asia.

"Pakistan continues to adhere to its unilateral moratorium on testing. We have also proposed to India a bilateral agreement on a test ban," she said.

"Pakistan does not want a nuclear arms race in the region but, at the same time, we are committed to maintain a credible minimum deterrence in the interest of strategic balance, which is indispensable for peace in the region."

"We have been emphasizing repeatedly that Pakistan has also its energy needs, and we have future energy procurement plans which include the development of civilian nuclear power plants," she said.

"We want to develop civilian nuclear power generation under international safeguards.

"Pakistan is fully committed to non-proliferation, and we believe that, for effectiveness of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, Pakistan must be treated and viewed as a partner."

Pakistan has also raised eyebrows over an Australian bid to sell uranium to India, saying it would tilt the strategic balance in New Delhi's favour.

"Like the US-India nuclear deal, the decision by Australia to sell uranium to India is a matter which warrants close attention. Any development that can impinge on the strategic balance in South Asia is a matter of vital concern to us," Aslam said.

Muslim-majority Pakistan and mainly-Hindu India have fought three wars since independence from Britain 60 years ago. In 1998, they carried out tit-for-tat nuclear detonations that alarmed the world.

A US report said, earlier this year, that Pakistan was building a third nuclear reactor to produce material for atomic bombs.


AFP
Last Mod: 20 Ağustos 2007, 19:32
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