New York, Oct 18: Pakistan has expressed its concern over the much-touted Indo-US civil nuclear deal, saying that it could fuel a nuclear escalation in South Asia.
Islamabad is convinced that the Indo-US agreement is one-sided arrangement, Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan"s Permanent Representative at the UN"s European offices in Geneva, said.
“This agreement has been seen by many as eroding the non-proliferation regime and introducing discrimination against states party to the NPT (Non-proliferation Treaty)," the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.
“We are equally concerned by assertions of India"s right to conduct further nuclear weapons tests," Masood Khan told the UN General Assembly"s main committee.
He also said that Pakistan has the legitimate right to meet its growing energy needs by using nuclear technology.
Pakistan would set up its new nuclear facility under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and would promote legitimate and peaceful uses of nuclear energy; the Daily Times quoted the Ambassador, as saying.
Khan went on to say that Pakistan would take necessary steps to ensure minimum credible deterrence, the basis of its strategic posture, the Daily Times reported.
“Pakistan has persevered in its endeavour to maintain peace and stability in South Asia at the lowest level of armaments," said Masood Khan.
Pakistan"s longstanding pursuit of a nuclear-weapon-free zone was let down by India"s nuclear weapons tests in May 1998, to which Islamabad responded to maintain mutual deterrence, he said.
Since 2004 Pakistan had pursued a composite dialogue with India. “Several confidence-building measures (CBMs) have been concluded, including for prior notification of missile tests and measures to prevent the accidental use of nuclear weapons," he said.