India not against a US-Pakistan n-deal: Mukherjee

October 11th, 2008 - 1:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 11 (IANS) India has indicated it would not mind the United States entering a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan, saying it believed every country has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”We will like to encourage civil nuclear cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear energy,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at a press conference here Friday after signing the bilateral 123 agreement with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“We believe every country has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” he said when asked about Islamabad’s demand for an India-like nuclear deal with the US.

In reply to another question about Pakistan’s apprehensions about the nuclear deal, Mukherjee said India was determined to build good relations with Pakistan and was trying to resolve all outstanding issues between them through their composite dialogue process.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s recent statements about India never being a threat to Pakistan and Islamabad having no objection to the India-US nuclear deal were “really encouraging”, he said.

“India’s commitment to non-proliferation is second to none,” said Mukherjee, recalling that on Sep 5 he had reiterated New Delhi’s commitment to a unilateral voluntary moratorium to nuclear tests declared in 1998 after India conducted five-in-a-row tests.

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