Pak's history of nuke proliferation still playing on US' mind

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Washington, Mar.26 (ANI): A joint statement issued by the United States and Pakistan after the first ministerial level strategic talks between both countries mentioned the setting up of a policy steering group for further talks on 'strategic stability' and 'non-proliferation', which clearly indicates that Washington is still concerned about Islamabad's poor track record in terms of nuclear proliferation.

The document, issued after the two-day strategic dialogue did not mention any date for future talks between the two sides but stated the "sectoral meetings" will be held in Islamabad soon.

Observers in the US pointed that the inclusion of "strategic stability and non-proliferation" in the joint statement shows that the issue of the nuclear deal did come up for discussion during the strategic dialogue.

They said that Islamabad, which has been pressing Washington for a India like civil nuclear deal, would not have agreed to talk on the issue of non-proliferation without an indication from the US that it would no longer seek to disengage its atomic programme, The Dawn said.

During an interview with a news agency just after the dialogue with his US counterpart Hillary Clinton, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, was reminded that the Obama Administration is hesitant over offering it a deal like India because of its concerns regarding the proliferation network run by the father of country's nuclear programme Dr. A Q Khan.

"I think that is behind us," Qureshi responded.

"I think they understand the new command-control structures we have in place. I think they are pretty satisfied with security and safety systems in place in Pakistan and there is recognition of that," he said.

The joint statement also said that both sides acknowledged the common threat that terrorism and extremism posed to global, regional and local security. (ANI)

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