US Owes Nuclear Technology to Pakistan
JOINT statement issued after completion of seventh round of the US-Pakistan Security, Strategic Stability and Non-proliferation working Group in Washington, contains several important elements, which indicate that the two sides had a candid discussion on important and related issues of their interest. In the backdrop of unabated propaganda campaign unleashed by anti-Pakistan lobbies about security of the country’s nuclear war-heads, the United States has openly acknowledged that Pakistan has a robust command and control system to take care of security issues. Pakistan also made it once again clear that it would not be first in the region to resume nuclear testing and that it is following the policy of minimum deterrence to ensure its security and defence.
Hopefully, the deliberations would go a long way in clearing ambiguities and bringing the two sides closer. One of theimportant points of discussion was Pakistan’s firm declaration that access to peaceful nuclear technology was a socio-economic priority for the energy starved country. Though there are no indications in the joint statement as to the response or reaction of the US side but it is encouraging that Pakistan has been hammering out the issue during its relevant engagements with Washington. By demanding cooperation in the use of nuclear technology for civilian purpose, Pakistan is not asking for any special treatment as Americans are extending similar assistance to India since 2005. It is rather strange that despite being labelled as closest of the allies, Pakistan has so far been denied this cooperation, which has further fuelled the sense of discrimination, triggered by long nuclear related sanctions and the highly country-specific Pressler Amendment. Pakistan has a genuine case for seeking cooperation from the so-called Nuclear Suppliers Group as the country is facing worst kind of energy crisis, impacting upon daily life and scuttling its efforts to accelerate socio-economicdevelopment of the people. Regrettably, the United States and other members of the group are not only evasive to cooperate with Pakistan but are also opposing China-Pakistan nuclear cooperation for energy generation. They should appreciate the reality that success of war on terror that Pakistan is currently waging is very much dependent on poverty alleviation and job generation, which demands uninterrupted supply of electricity. We firmly believe that if the US is more than willing to cooperate with India then it owes nuclear technology to Pakistan as well.