Pakistan resents U.S. concession to India

Visibly riled by President Barack Obama’s visit and joint remarks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan has hit out at the Indo-U.S. joint statement that it says will have “longer term implications for Pakistan’s security.”

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz said in a statement that it opposed elements in the Indo-U.S. agreements including India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, terrorism cooperation as well as U.S. endorsement for India in the U.N. Security Council.

On the issue of the NSG membership, Mr. Aziz said, “Pakistan is opposed to yet another country-specific exemption from NSG rules to grant membership to India,” adding this would “undermine the credibility of NSG and weaken the non-proliferation regime.”

Pakistan’s position was at odds with China’s statement of conditional support a day ago. “We believe that such [an] inclusion should be conducive to the integrity and effectiveness of the regime and decision should be made on consensus. We notice India’s commitment to relevant issues,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said at a media briefing.

Veiled threat

Mr. Aziz also issued a veiled threat on the operationalisation of the nuclear deal, saying that the move on the basis of “political and economic expediencies” would have a “detrimental impact on deterrence stability in South Asia”, adding that “Pakistan reserves the right to safeguard its national security interests.”

On the joint statement declaration on terrorism, calling the Indo-U.S. partnership a defining one to counter terrorism in the 21st century, including a call to Pakistan to bring “perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks on November 2008” to justice, the Pakistani NSA said they would “reject any insinuation or aspersion over its commitment to fight terrorism.”

In his statement, Mr. Aziz seemed to mirror the language of the joint statement by saying “Pakistan reiterates its call on India to bring the planners and perpetrators of the February 2007 Samjhauta Express terrorist attack to justice.”

U.N. Council seat

Pakistan also opposed Mr. Obama’s statement on supporting a reformed United Nations Security Council with India as a member, criticising what it claimed is India’s record on human rights.

Pakistan’s government has been under criticism internally for its failure to have President Obama visit Pakistan along with his visit to India this year. Mr. Obama is only the second U.S. President (after Jimmy Carter) not to travel to India and Pakistan together.

There was no immediate response from the Ministry of External Affairs to the Pakistani statement.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 10:14:20 AM |

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