'NSG applications of Pakistan, India should be considered together'
Pakistan Thursday said its application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group should be considered "simultaneously" with that of India on the basis of "uniform and non-discriminatory" criteria.
Islamabad: Pakistan Thursday said its application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group should be considered "simultaneously" with that of India on the basis of "uniform and non-discriminatory" criteria.
"The applications of Pakistan and India cannot be considered in isolation from the goal of maintaining strategic stability in South Asia," Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said at his weekly media briefing here.
He said Pakistan was making efforts to muster support of the NSG members for its membership bid.
"It has been our consistent position that the question of NSG membership for non-NPT states must be dealt with in accordance with a single, uniform, non-discriminatory and fair criteria. Therefore, it is absolutely essential for NSG to consider the Indian and Pakistani applications simultaneously and in an even-handed manner," he said.
Pakistan's membership of the 48-nation grouping is in the interest of nuclear trading countries as it will further promote NSG's non-proliferation objectives by the inclusion of a state with nuclear supply capabilities and its adherence to NSG guidelines, Zakaria claimed.
"I must also tell you that Pakistan has all the credentials to be a part of the NSG. Our position has been reiterated time and again," he said while highlighting that a meeting in this regard was also held with an American delegation led by Rose Gottemoeller, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
"The US delegation recognised Pakistan's significant efforts to harmonise its strategic trade controls with those of NSG's," he said.
Zakaria said with regards to relations with neighbours, Pakistan was guided by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's vision of good neighbourly relations, including with India.
"We want to resolve all issues with India through dialogue, including the Kashmir dispute, which is the best way," he said.
Zakaria said Pakistan's position is very clear that dialogue is the best way to resolve all problems and when dialogue starts, all the issues will be discussed.
"We have not attached any pre-conditions to it and we also expect that India will not attach any pre-conditions too. I recall that on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Meeting, both sides had agreed that no incident should have any bearing on dialogue and I think this statement is still valid," Zakaria said.
Pakistan has repeatedly highlighted the imperative of a sustained and result-oriented dialogue on all issues including Kashmir, he said.
Zakaria said the Indian Foreign Secretary was scheduled to visit Pakistan by mid-January but he did not on the pretext of the Pathankot incident.
"The visit is overdue. We have not yet received new dates from the Indian side. After the Pathankot incident, Pakistan extended sincere cooperation. During JIT visit whatever intelligence and information the Indian side shared that is being examined," he said.