No country can intervene in Pak nuclear plan: FO
* Spokesman says country is not NSG member
* US, Afghan authorities have denied Pakistani doctor detained at Bagram airbase
By Sajjad Malik
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is not a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and as such, the group has no say in Pakistan’s nuclear programme or its assets, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said on Monday.
He told a weekly media briefing that the country had no relationship with the group. He said Pakistan’s nuclear assets were fully secure and “followed the best international practices”. Referring to the investigation into Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s alleged role in nuclear proliferation, he said the issue’s relevance to foreign policy had been resolved several years ago. Recent statements in the media were only important in a domestic context, he added.
The spokesman said the country needed energy and civilian nuclear power plants would help in that regard. “Pakistan is interested in co-operating with other countries to produce nuclear power under the proper safeguards,” he said. Referring to the nuclear deal between India and the United States, the spokesman said that Pakistan’s stance on the matter was clear. The country’s national security interests were supreme and the government would do whatever was necessary to protect them, APP reported him as saying.
Sadiq said the Indo-Pak relationship was very important for regional prosperity, adding that relations were moving in a positive direction. He confirmed that the ceasefire along the Line of Control had been violated thrice in the past few days. He also said that India had not provided any evidence to confirm allegations that Pakistan had been involved in the bombing of its embassy in Kabul.
Gilani’s lead: To questioning, the spokesman said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani would lead the Pakistan delegation at the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) summit in Colombo on August 2-3. Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers would meet on its sidelines, he said, adding that no meeting had yet been confirmed between the two prime ministers. On the premier’s maiden visit to the United States, he said that bilateral relations between the US and Pakistan were just as necessary for both countries as they were for peace and security in Southeast Asia. “The complete range of bilateral relations, including political ties, terrorism, army-to-army contact, strategic contact and economic ties would be discussed by the two leaders [during their meeting on Monday],” he said.
Female doctor: Sadiq responded to questions about the detention of a Pakistani female doctor by US forces at Bagram airbase by saying that these reports had been denied by both Afghan and US officials. However, he added, if new information surfaced, Pakistani authorities would take up the issue again. On the reported detention of Pakistani journalist Nayyer Zaidi in the US, the spokesman said that the government did not have any details, but was in touch with his wife and would do everything to assist the family. According to NNI, Sadiq said Labour and Manpower Minister Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah would lead Pakistan’s delegation to the 15th NAM Ministerial meeting. He also said that modalities of a United Nations probe into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto were being worked on and an announcement was expected in a few weeks.