Press Trust of India
Islamabad, May 19: Pakistan has accused India of diverting nuclear materials it had obtained for peaceful purposes under the NSG waiver to make weapons.
Foreign office spokesman Nafees Zakaria Thursday told reporters that Pakistan has been underscoring for decades the risks of diversion by India of imported nuclear fuel, equipment, and technology, received pursuant to civil nuclear cooperation agreements and the 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver. “The concerns over diversion are neither new nor unfounded. India enjoys the rare distinction of diverting nuclear material, obtained on its peaceful use commitment, to its nuclear weapons programme,” he said.
“The past and potential misuse of nuclear materials by India entails not only serious issues of nuclear proliferation but also carry grave implications for strategic stability in South Asia and national security of Pakistan.” He said media reports and papers substantiate an otherwise largely “ignored fact” that India’s nuclear weapons programme is the fastest growing in the world.
Talking about a paper recently released by Harvard Kennedy School, he said that this paper and other several reports corroborate growing concerns related to the use of nuclear material acquired by India from abroad in its existing and future safeguarded nuclear reactors, plants, and facilities for development of nuclear weapons. “The recent Belfer paper inter alia concludes that India has accumulated nuclear material for over 2600 nuclear weapons,” he said.
He said that NSG states have a responsibility to take into account these well-founded concerns while considering a transfer of nuclear material to India and its NSG membership bid. He claimed that many international nuclear experts, think tanks and media reports in the past years have consistently raised concerns over the lack of transparency, the absence of international safeguards, and the potential for diversion of un safeguarded nuclear material for nuclear weapons in India. Zakaria also said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was establishing units in Kashmir, which were managed by non-Kashmiri activists. “Their increasing presence in (Kashmir) is to terrorise Kashmiris and deter them from participating in the self-determination movement,” he alleged. Zakaria called on the international community to take notice of the situation in Kashmir and condemned the ban on social media and TV channels in the valley. He said Pakistan extends full cooperation to United Nations Military Observers in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in monitoring situation on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.
Talking about the issue of medical visas by India, he said most patients who were traveling to India from Pakistan have serious ailments requiring urgent medical attention. “Despite paying for their treatment themselves, these patients are being deprived of their basic right to health, due to political consideration on the part of India,” he said. “While granting or denying a visa is a sovereign right of any country, this Indian move is unprecedented in inter-state relations,” he said.
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