US ready to discuss N-deal with Pak: Report

Posted By: Staff
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Islamabad, Mar 22: In alarming news for India, United States is willing to discuss nuclear plans with Pakistan and the issue may figure in the upcoming strategic dialogue between the two countries, a media report said.

"We are beginning to have a discussion with the Pakistan government on the country"s desire to tap nuclear energy," US envoy in Islamabad Anne W Patterson was quoted as saying in a Los Angeles-based Pakistani newspaper.

"We are going to have working level talks on the issue in Washington in March," she said.

Stating that America"s 'non-proliferation concerns were quite severe', Patterson said that US was changing its approach.

"I think we are beginning to pass those and this is a scenario that we are going to explore," she added.

On Friday, Mar 19, US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke expressed a similar stance when he was asked about the US plans with Pakistan.

"While addressing Pakistan"s energy needs, are you considering helping them establish nuclear power plants to meet their energy needs?" he was asked.

Holbrooke in a transcript released by the state department said that US would like to give Pakistan a chance to make its stand clear.

"We have a very broad and complex agenda in these talks, and this is the first strategic dialogue ever at this level, and the first of this administration. And we"re going to listen carefully to whatever the Pakistanis say," the transcript said.

The response  shows a contrast in US earlier stance that the deal for supplying nuclear power plants to India was exclusive and could not be offered to another country.

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