Sartaj Aziz claimed that Pakistan had already convinced countries including Russia, New Zealand and South Korea to support the criteria-based approach.
Pakistan’s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz on June 12 said that his country had “stronger credentials” than India for a membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), if they decide to form an uniform criteria for non-NPT states.
Aziz asserted that Pakistan had engaged with many countries to discuss the criteria-based approach for non-NPT countries that would pave the way for their entry into the elite club.
In an interview with Dawn, he expressed hope that, because of Pakistan’s efforts and its strong credentials, if India gained entry into the club, Pakistan would not be left behind.
“If the group forms such a uniform criteria, then Pakistan has stronger credentials for NSG membership than India,” Aziz said. “Our strategy was to apply after India did, after which we would have immediately followed. We have had our application in an advance state of readiness for the past three months for purpose,” Aziz said.
He claimed that Pakistan had already convinced several countries including crucial ones like Russia, New Zealand and South Korea to support the criteria-based approach and that they have always had the backing of China.
“If you compare it with India, when our neighbouring 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.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi building up more support for India’s NSG bid, an alarmed Pakistan has been lobbying hard to ensure that India is not allowed into the exclusive nuclear group.
Aziz said US has formed a policy to ‘build up India’ as “their entire attention is towards containing the Islamic world and China”.
“We cannot question them but we repeatedly tell them that you (US) are a sovereign country and can maintain any level of relations with any country, but if you increase the strategic and conventional imbalance in South Asia, our problems will increase,” said the foreign affairs adviser while referring to the US support for India’s inclusion in the NSG.
Earlier, Aziz had said that Pakistan’s scientists and experts were monitoring and evaluating the strategic threats that Indian nuclear doctrine posed to his country’s national security.
Categories: External Affairs