US prevented Pakistan from blocking India at IAEA

July 28th, 2008 - 4:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, July 28 (IANS) Thanks to the US, Pakistan’s attempts to block India’s efforts to secure a country-specific safeguards agreement from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have “come to a grinding halt”, a widely respected commentator wrote Monday. Soon after Pakistan wrote a letter to the IAEA board seeking a vote on the issue, “the US got moving and conveyed to Islamabad that Pakistan had already given a commitment, through a previous foreign secretary, that it will offer no opposition to the US pursuing India-specific exceptions at the IAEA and the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group),” Shireen M. Mazari wrote in The News.

As a result, the Pakistani foreign ministry “was asked to stop all activities meant to counter India-US moves on safeguards and technology exports at the IAEA and the NSG respectively.

“The net result has been that all diplomatic efforts by Pakistan have come to a grinding halt and the special envoy’s mission (to follow up on the letter) had to be aborted midway,” Mazari wrote in the article, headlined “Pak N-diplomacy comes to a full stop”.

A former director general of think tank Institute of Strategic Studies, Mazari’s views are considered to be a form of Pakistani nationalism.

According to Mazari, there were two reasons behind Pakistan letter to the IAEA.

“One, to expose those member states that have been holding forth on non-proliferation but would go along with making an exception to India; and, two, to see how many of Pakistan’s Arab allies, who are presently members of the IAEA Board would vote.”

The US and India are seeking an agreement by consensus without putting the issue to vote.

In addition to the letter, the foreign secretary also wanted to send a letter to the NSG members asking them to adopt a criteria-based approach for sensitive technology transfers rather than country-based exceptions, Mazari wrote.

The third leg of the foreign ministry’s strategy “was to send an envoy - preferably a seasoned diplomat - to our ally China to get them to lend support to the Pakistani approach vis-

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