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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India dismisses Pak talk of arms race due to Indo-US nuke deal

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, July 25, IRNA
India-Nuke Deal-Pak
India has dismissed a warning by Pakistan that the Indo-US nuke deal will accelerate an atomic arms race in the sub-continent declaring there was no scope for any "nuclear weaponization".

"The deal was purely a civilian issue with no military consequences. The deal is a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the international community. Where is the scope for arms race," India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Thursday told a TV channel.

Mukherjee's remarks came in the backdrop of a warning by Pakistan that the India-specific safeguards agreement being finalised with the IAEA would hurt non-proliferation efforts and "threatens to increase the chances of a nuclear arms race in the sub-continent".

The warning came in a letter dated July 18 and addressed to members of the IAEA Board and a 45-nation consortium known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The letter has been sent in all to 60 countries.

The safeguards pact will come up before the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for consideration and approval on August one.

A week after the letter questioning the deal caused some unease in India and the US, Pakistan on Thursday said it does not want to "obstruct" the deal but it should also be considered for such an accord without any "discrimination".

"We don't want to be obstructive," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in London when asked how he perceived the Indo-US nuke deal at the International Institute for Strategic Studies there after delivering a lecture at the think tank, said media reports Meanwhile, US Ambassador David C Mulford viewed with "concern" Pakistan's position at the IAEA on India-specific safeguards agreement and said Washington was talking to it and hoped Islamabad will "see things in right light" and "be cooperative".

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