The United States on Monday dismissed reports that it was mulling negotiations on a civil nuclear agreement with Pakistan.
“The U.S. has not entered (into) negotiations on a civil nuclear agreement with Pakistan,” a spokesperson of the U.S. embassy in the capital told PTI, a day after media reports said Washington may discuss Islamabad’s request for cooperation in setting up nuclear power plants in the country.
“The United States is committed to helping Pakistan address its real and growing energy needs, and we look forward to cooperating with Pakistan in ways that are compatible with Pakistan’s economic, environmental and security needs and with US international commitments and policies,” it said.
A U.S.-based Pakistani newspaper had recently quoted U.S. Ambassador Anne W. Patterson as saying that Washington is “beginning to have a discussion with the Pakistan government” on its desire to tap nuclear energy.
Ms. Patterson was also quoted as saying that there would be “working level talks” on the issue in Washington this month.
“Earlier on, non-proliferation concerns were quite severe. I think we are beginning to pass those and this is a scenario that we are going to explore...,” Ms. Patterson was quoted as saying in the report.
The embassy’s clarification came ahead of a key bilateral strategic talks in Washington on Wednesday for which a high-level Pakistan delegation has reached the American capital.
Pakistan has been seeking a civil nuclear pact similar to that between India and the US, arguing that Washington must not discriminate against it.