Powerful Senators oppose civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 21:08

Washington: Two powerful Senators, both of
whom have influential role in shaping US foreign policy and
considered to be very close to President Barack Obama, have
opposed the idea of having a civilian nuclear deal with
Pakistan.

"I don`t think it`s on the table right now considering
all over the other issues we have to confront," Senate Foreign
Relations chairman John Kerry, told `The Cable`, on-line news
blog of the prestigious Foreign Policy.
"There are countless things that they would have to do in
order to achieve it. If they`re willing to do all those
things, we`ll see," Kerry, who was the Democratic Party`s
presidential candidate in 2004 and is considered to be Obama`s
key foreign policy aid, said.

Islamabad is pushing for a civilian nuclear accord with
the US on the lines of that of India, according to a 56-page
wish list submitted to the Obama Administration.

Senator Richard Lugar, Ranking member of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, also opposed the civilian nuclear
deal with Pakistan, saying this should be delinked from the
Strategic Dialogue ? which started at the Foggy Bottom
headquarters of the State Department this morning.

"I think it`s premature. It`s not likely to be part of
the agenda at this time," Lugar told `The Cable` and added
that he totally understands Pakistan`s desire for energy
cooperation and Islamabad`s willingness to sign a gas pipeline
deal with Iran.
"Everybody is desperate for resources and that has
superseded a number of other considerations," Lugar said.

Both Kerry and Lugar met Pakistan`s Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi and the visiting delegation at the Congress
yesterday where this issues was brought up by the Pakistani
leaders.

The Senators, also, separately met Pakistan Army Chief
General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 21:08

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