Pak control of nuke stockpiles will be under scrutiny at Washington summit: Expert

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Washington, Apr.13 (ANI): Nuclear expert Marcin Zaborowski is of the view that Pakistan's nuclear proliferation record will be under intense scrutiny during the two-day nuclear security summit convened here by US President Barack Obama.

In an interaction with the web site France 24 International News, Zaborowski said that while the presence of the Indian and Pakistani leaders at the event has raised hopes of progress insofar as convincing Pakistan to prevent nuclear material from falling into the hands of militant groups such as Al Qaeda and the Talibam, its reputation as a nuclear proliferator precedes it.

Zaborowski, who is with the Paris-based EU Institute of Security Studies (EUISS), said that as far as India is concerned, it is anxious about nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists.

"It is not concerned with the Pakistani government in itself, but with its ability to fully control its [nuclear] materials," he says.

"India is not considered a pariah state because of the nuclear cooperation deal it reached with the US under the Bush administration. Pakistan would like to have the same kind of deal that has been offered to the Indians, but I don't think they'll get it," he adds.

"Pakistan is a huge, unstable country, with a very different situation from India. The Pakistani government does not fully control its armed forces, and the armed forces do not fully control its intelligence services. For India, securing Pakistan's materials is the whole point of attending the summit," Zaborowski says.

However, he says that Islamabad has a legitimate complaint-in that "they are the victims of a double standard," as both it and New Delhi are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"They (Pakistan), would like to be seen as treated on an equal footing as the Indians. Some kind of gesture for future cooperation, the groundwork for a partnership, could improve Pakistani public opinion of the US and the West in general, but it all has to start with the US," Zaborowski opines.

As to what the US can hope from Pakistan at the summit, he says it could be "an NPT-II, an attempt to produce a new regime which will bind these two powers. The new treaty would have a new focus, from the diminishing of stockpiles to securing nuclear materials, ensuring they do not get into the hands of potential terrorists."

"Since Pakistan is seen as very vulnerable, that would be a huge accomplishment for the Obama administration. A victory in relation to Pakistan would get him much-needed support in the US Congress towards ratifying the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty," Zaborowski says. (ANI)

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