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Pakistan: India-US Nuclear Deal Bad for South Asia's Stability


Pakistan says the India-U.S. nuclear deal will not be helpful to the shared objectives of stability in South Asia and a strong global non-proliferation regime.

Under the agreement, India will open 14 of its 22 nuclear plants for international inspection and will be allowed to buy nuclear fuel and power plants from the United States and other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

A Foreign Ministry statement issued in Islamabad says the pact will only encourage India to continue its weapons program without any constraint or inhibition.

The statement says the objective of strategic stability in South Asia and the global non-proliferation regime would have been better served if the U.S. had considered a "package" approach for Pakistan and India.

President Bush signed the pact with India during his visit to New Delhi earlier this month, and it has now been sent to the U.S. Congress for approval.

During Mr. Bush's visit to Islamabad, which followed his India visit, Pakistan asked for a similar nuclear deal. But President Bush refused, saying India and Pakistan have different needs and different histories. This was an apparent reference to Pakistan's nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan's admittance that he secretly sold nuclear bomb technology to Iran and Libya.

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