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'Indo-US nuke deal to have serious security implications'

Written by: Staff
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New York, Apr 5: Claiming the Indo-US nuclear deal would have ''serious implications'' for security in South Asia, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has called for urgent steps to address the situation.

''A selective and discriminatory approach will have serious implications for the security environment in South Asia as well as for international non-proliferation efforts,'' he said, addressing students at the Columbia University here yesterday.

Warning that a ''major opportunity could be lost,'' Mr Aziz, however, noted that there was ''still time to rectify the situation.'' ''A package approach, on part of the United States, for both countries would help prevent a nuclear arms race in the region and promote restraints while ensuring that the legitimate needs of both countries for civilian power generation were met,'' Mr Aziz said, adding that ''Pakistan qualifies for similar arrangement as made with India.'' Later, answering questions from the students, the Pakistan Prime Minister said that as ''part of its efforts to promote international security, Pakistan has offered a Strategic Restraint Regime to India aimed at stabilising nuclear deterrance in South Asia and avoiding an arms race in strategic and conventional weapons.'' Discussing Pakistan's role in the nuclear non-proliferation efforts, Mr Aziz said Pakistan was determined to prevent terrorists and extremists from acquiring materials or know-how for weapons of mass destruction. Referring to the dismantling of the A Q Khan network, he said this helped curb the international nuclear black market.

''An effective command and control mechanism has been established to strengthen physical control of our nuclear assets,'' he added.

UNI

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