Pak counting its chickens before they’ve hatched on nuclear deal with France

May 18th, 2009 - 1:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 18 (ANI): Pakistan recently claimed that France has offered it a civilian nuclear technology deal similar to the US-India deal formalized last year, but it seems that Islamabad is counting its chickens before they’ve hatched, as there has not been any ‘official’ confirmation from Nicolas Sarkozy’s office.

French Officials said President Nicolas Sarkozy had confirmed his willingness to ‘cooperate with Pakistan in the area of nuclear safety’, but they declined to comment on whether Paris had offered any civil nuclear deal to Islamabad, as was claimed by Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi recently.

Earlier, Qureshi had claimed that Sarkozy told his Pakistan counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, during his recent visit, that Islamabad should also have a have a wide-ranging deal to buy nuclear equipment like the one obtained by India.

If France has now agreed on a deal as the one the US has entered into with India, this amounts to a radical change in the international politics of nuclear proliferation that has a direct bearing on Pakistan, The Dawn reports.

An official in the Sarkozy’s office said France is concerned about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and wants Islamabad to fortify security around its nuclear establishments, but he refused to comment on the idea of an India-style nuclear deal.

Qureshi also that Islamabad already has a comprehensive security system in place for its nuclear arsenal, and is also willing to give guarantees to the international community.

“Pakistan has no issues with the IAEA. We are willing to give international guarantees. We want the world to feel secure, and Pakistan will give all necessary guarantees,” he said. (ANI)

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