No Deal on Nuclear Weapons: Aizaz

Washington—Pakistan is not envisaging any nuclear deal with the US during the current visit of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the insinuations spread in the media are baseless and unfounded. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry while addressing a briefing here categorically denied any chance of a nuclear deal with the US which will limit the development of Pakistan’s nuclear technology for civil or military purposes.

Briefing the Pakistani media on the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s three-day official visit to the US foreign secretary said violations of Line of Control and Working Boundary with India by the Indian armed forces will be raised with the US President as well as Pakistan would seek US support in helping to resolve the long standing Kashmir dispute with India. Chaudhry Aizaz said US and Pakistan both wish to have a safe and peaceful South Asia. Pakistan would try to engage US support for bringing our eastern neighbour to the table to discuss issues including Kashmir.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be arriving to a hectic schedule of three day visit to the US capitol on the invitation of the US President Barack Obama today (Tuesday).. His meeting with the President is scheduled to be held on October 22 at 11am at the White House. “A wide range of issues will be discussed including socio economic development, strategic situation, Afghanistan and India, the foreign secretary said.

To a question Mr. Chaudhry said Pakitan’s nuclear programme is not for waging a war against a particular country. Rather he said it is to stop the war. India is trying to create a space for war by its tactical moves like Cold Start and proactive strategy by moving its forces close to Pakistani borders. This has imbalanced the security situation. To set the situation right and deter any aggression Pakistan developed ‘low yield short range’ weapons.

Chaudhry said Pakistan wants relations with the US on the basis of self respect and mutual interest. He termed these relations long-standing but Pakistan now wished these relations to go beyond security andcounter terrorism.

Besides a visit to the White House Prime Minister Sharif is expected to have a range of meetings with the US Secretary of Sate, Secretary of Energy and various members of Congress and US Senate who will be calling on him including Vice President Joe Biden.

Earlier, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said in London on Monday that Pakistan’s nuclear program was meant to maintain deterrence against any external aggression and government would not compromise on national interests.

Talking to the newsmen here during a stopover, on his way to the four-day official visit to the United States, he said that Pakistan had developed its nuclear programme under the country’s requirement.

“This is our position which cannot be compromised,” he said and mentioned his pre-departure statement in which he had described Pakistan’s strategic assets as secured under a foolproof arrangement.

When asked whether the government would make any compromise on country’s nuclear assets under any foreign pressure, the Prime Minister asked, “Who was the prime minister in 1998 when Pakistan carried out nuclear tests.”

The Prime Minister reiterated that establishment of peace in Afghanistan was inevitable for peace in the region.

To a question about the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s afresh charges of rigging in the recent bye-election inLahore, the Prime Minister said such politicians needed to manifest political maturity to the people. It is political immaturity to make hue and cry about the rigging now and then.

Recalling the PTI’s sit-in, formation of judicial commission on PTI’s demand and the government’s decision to contest bye- election in NA-122 instead of obtaining stay order, the Prime Minister said the PTI was now alleging about transfer of votes after facing defeat.

He said the PML-N candidate Ayaz Sadiq won the seat in NA-122 in Lahore and even the security deposit of PTI’s candidatewas confiscated in Okara bye-poll.

“They should learn a lesson from this. Instead, they are talking of addition or deletion of votes,” the Prime Minister said urging the opposition party to set positive trend in national politics.

The Prime Minister said he had inked Charter of Democracy with Benazir Bhutto to lay foundations of mature politics but it was saddening that the PTI has resorted to that old kind of politics.

To another question, Nawaz Sharif was confident that the government would rid the country of load-shedding till 2018, before the end of his stint.

Dispelling the impression of any foreign pressure against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Prime Minister said some of its allied projects had already been launched and would be completed timely.

Responding to another question, the Prime Minister assured the overseas Pakistanis that the government was striving for granting them the right to vote.

About the Indian intervention in Pakistan, the Prime Minister said Pakistan had handed over relevant record to the United Nations containing solid proofs.

The prime minister had a stopover in London en route to the United States for a four-day official visit. He is visiting the US from October 20 to 23, at the invitation of the US President Barack Obama.


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