Beijing: Amid concerns expressed by India and
the US about the new Sino-Pak nuclear deal, Pakistan has
claimed that the agreement to build two atomic reactors was
inked in 2009 itself during President Asif Ali Zardari`s visit
here, though China notified NSG about it only last month.
A spokesperson for Zardari, who is currently again on a
six-day visit to China, said Beijing has demonstrated yet
again its strong support to Islamabad by categorically
reiterating that it will go ahead with the construction of the
two nuclear reactors.
An agreement which "goes along well with the
international non-proliferation obligations of China and
Pakistan" was signed during Zardari`s last year visit here,
the President`s press secretary Farhatullah Babar was quoted
as saying by Pakistan`s official APP news agency.
His remarks came as Pakistan`s Ambassador to China,
Masood Khan, said the issues relating to nuclear plants would
certainly be on the agenda of Zardari`s talks with the Chinese
"Our cooperation is transparent and will be under the
IAEA safeguard," Khan said.
The news about China`s plans to build nuclear reactors
for Pakistan was first carried by `China National Nuclear
Corporation` on its website in March this year.
China notified the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) about
its plan in this regard last month.
On his arrival here last night, Zardari said "we believe
that China is a factor of stability in the region."
"This is my fifth visit to China since October 2008 and I
have truly been inspired by the remarkable achievements of the
Chinese people," he said.
Strengthening of cooperation with China is one of the key
principles guiding Pakistan`s foreign policy, he said, adding
that his visit is aimed at pushing forward the process of
strategic engagement, enhancing economic and trade ties and
bolstering people-to-people contacts to lend greater depth and
a newer perspective to the bilateral relations.
India and the United States have already conveyed their
concerns to China over the Sino-Pak nuclear deal.
National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, who held
extensive talks with the Chinese leaders during his four-day
visit here which ended yesterday, has said that he was told by
the Chinese leaders that the reactors would be built under
international obligations and added that India will "wait and
see" how Beijing goes about it.
During his visit here Zardari is due to hold talks with
Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Chairman
of the Chinese Peoples Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Jia
Qinglin, who figured fourth in the ruling CPC`s leadership
Zardari`s programme in China included meetings with heads
of major Chinese corporations including Sinohydro, Three
Gorges Corporation, China Northern Railways, EXIM Bank,
Peoples Bank and the Chinese Development Bank to review the
status of ongoing projects undertaken by these entities in
Pakistan as well as those of some new proposals in pipeline.
He would also visit Tsinghua University to inaugurate the
Besides, Zardari is due to hold talks with Chinese
ministers for water and agriculture and address the Pak-China
Economic Cooperation Forum.
Later, he would go to Shanghai where he would address the
Pak-China Alternative Energy Forum and visit the pavilions of
Pakistan and China at the ongoing Expo and meet the Mayor of
Members of his entourage included Defence Minister
Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Petroleum Minister Naveed Qamar,
Minister of State for Water Resources Kamal Majidullah,
Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Secretary Salman
Bashir and Secretary General to President Salman Farooqui.