BJP wants IAEA to take action against Pakistan
* Yashwant Sinha says nuclear proliferation was not possible without govt’s active support
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) called for action to be taken against Pakistan for nuclear proliferation, rather than Iran and North Korea.
Former External Affairs minister Yashwant Sinha suggested launching a diplomatic bombardment targeting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to punish Islamabad, “Because nuclear proliferation could not have been possible without their government’s active support, knowledge and approval.”
Sinha said IAEA officials would be visiting Pakistan next month and “It was time for India to intensify its campaign to get the guilty punished.”
Releasing a book ‘Pakistan’s Nuclear Underworld: An Investigation’ published by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Sinha criticised the US for its double standards on the issue. He said the book clearly chronicled Pakistan’s nuclear black market and showed that it could not have been possible without the government’s active support.
The book by ORF Senior Fellow Wilson John documents clandestine dealings of AQ Khan with networks in US, France, Germany, Netherlands, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, China, North Korea, Malaysia and Libya. Criticising the US and its allies, Sinha said “so-called international monitors are attacking Iran and North Korea and keeping a blind eye on the Pakistani activities.” He said people like AQ Khan should not escape punishment.
However, he said the BJP did not want the nuclear proliferation issue to overshadow the peace process between India and Pakistan. “These are separate issues and need to be dealt with separately,” he said. Expressing concern over the possibility of nuclear materials falling into the hands of militants, he said India should remain vigilant especially with the easing of travel between India and Pakistan.
Sinha said the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) would not succeed unless countries like India were made members and only equality (among nuclear countries) would solve the problem.
Wilson John said Pakistan was trying to wash its hands of the AQ Khan’s activities, which could not have been possible without the support of the government. He said these activities were done with the knowledge of the US as well. He said a CIA report had noted that most of the 19 billion-dollar grant from the US to Pakistan was “subverted ‘ into nuclear activities during 1974 and 1995.