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No civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan : US

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) Despite persistent demands from Pakistan, the US today said the civilian nuclear agreement it has with India, would not be replicated with any other country outside the non-proliferation mainstream.

''We have always seen this deal to be a unique deal for India. We do not believe this deal should be or will be replicated by the United States for other countries outside the non-proliferation mainstream,'' US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said at a press conference here.

Replying to a question about Pakistan's demand that if India was getting the deal, why not Pakistan, Mr Burns said the US certainly would never consider entertaining a country that proliferated--for instance North Korea, or a country that had ''lied to the IAEA''--Iran.

''And of course, despite our friendship for Pakistan, there have been proliferation problems of a quite serious nature over the last several years that would make this kind of deal impossible, and we've been very upfront and direct with the Pakistanis in saying that,'' Mr Burns said.

Describing India as ''unique'' he said the country has a growing need for energy and a growing interest in developing peaceful nuclear energy. It had developed its entire nuclear programme over 30 years alone because it had been isolated.

''So the question that we faced was the following : Is it better to maintain India in isolation, or is it better to try to bring it into the international mainstream? And President Bush felt the latter, that we ought to try to bring India into compliance actively, with the major international agreements that govern the disposition of nuclear materials, for instance, and nuclear energy,'' he added.

UNI RB LR DB2152

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