Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has said that Islamabad’s credentials for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership are stronger than New Delhi if the 48-nation cartel agrees to form a uniform criteria for non-NPT states.
Aziz yesterday said that Pakistan has diplomatically engaged numerous countries over the criteria-based approach for non-NPT countries.
“If the group forms such a uniform criteria, then Pakistan has stronger credentials for NSG membership than India,” he said.
“Our strategy was to apply after India did, after which we would have immediately followed. We have had our application in an advance state of readiness for the past three months for this this purpose,” Dawn quoted Aziz as saying in an interview.
The top diplomat also claimed that Pakistan has gradually gathered support for the criteria-based approach.
“Last week, I telephoned the foreign ministers of Russia, New Zealand and South Korea, who will in future head the NSG, and our viewpoint was that they should support the criteria-based approach, and we have gathered support for it, China was already supporting it,” he said.
Aziz said the U.S. has formed a policy to ‘build up India’ as their entire attention is towards containing the Islamic world and China.
“We cannot question them but we repeatedly tell them that you (US) are a sovereign country and can maintain any level of relations with any country, but if you increase the strategic and conventional imbalance in South Asia, our problems will increase,” he said while referring to the U.S. support for India’s inclusion in the NSG.
Talking about the country’s relations with India, he said things have changed as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration wants to normalise ties, but according to their ‘preferences’ do not wish to discuss the Kashmir issue.
“The whole world agrees that the two countries should start dialogue for lasting peace in South Asia,” he said.
Responding to a poser about Indian ‘spy’ Kulbhushan Jhadav, he said India raises the issue of Pakistan’s non-state actors and their subversive activities in its country repeatedly and pressed that the former is a RAW operative.
“But what is more important is that his (Jhadav) documentation is correct and we are preparing a proper dossier about his activities and network, so we can share it with friendly countries, the UN and the P5 countries,” said Aziz.