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US-Pak negotiations on nuclear cooperation?

pkd

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US may offer India-like nuke deal to Pak


WASHINGTON: Amid reports of massive 16-20 hour power outages across Pakistan causing public unrest, the Barack Obama administration has indicated it is open to Islamabad's plea for a civilian nuclear deal akin to the US-India agreement, notwithstanding continued disquiet about Pakistan's bonafides on the nuclear front.

The first indication of a possible policy shift by US, which had till now rejected Pakistan's entreaties for a nuclear deal, came in an interview the US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, gave to a Pakistani-American journal in which she said the two sides were going to have "working level talks" on the subject during a strategic dialogue on March 24.

Patterson confirmed the claim of her Pakistani counterpart in Washington Hussain Haqqani, which were initially denied, that the two sides had had some initial discussions on the subject. Acknowledging that earlier US "non-proliferation concerns were quite severe", she said attitudes in Washington were changing.

"I think we are beginning to pass those and this is a scenario that we are going to explore," she told a LA-based Pakistani journal.

Another top US official, ****** envoy Richard Holbrooke, was a little more circumspect. "We're going to listen carefully to whatever the Pakistanis say," he replied, when asked about Islamabad's demand for a civilian nuclear deal.

The Pakistani establishment, ahead of a wide-ranging strategic dialogue with US on March 24, has made parity with India, including a civilian nuclear deal, the centerpiece of its ramped-up engagement.

Intimations of a change in US policy came even as new reports emerged about the extent and scope of government-backed Pakistani nuclear proliferation in a book by former weapons inspector and non-proliferation activist David Albright. Successive US administrations, in an effort to absolve Islamabad and save it from embarrassment from past misdemeanors, have suggested that the country's nuclear mastermind A Q Khan acted on his own without permission from the Pakistani government or the military, but this assessment is strongly challenged by the non-proliferation community.

Talk of a nuclear deal with Pakistan also comes on the heels of the country signing a gas pipeline deal with Iran last week even as Washington was bearing down on Tehran.

The idea that Pakistan deserves its own nuclear deal to overcome a trust deficit with the United States was first proposed by Georgetown University academic Christine Fair. "More so than conventional weapons or large sums of cash, a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal may be able to diminish Pakistani fears of US intentions while allowing Washington to leverage these gains for greater Pakistani cooperation on nuclear proliferation and terrorism," Fair argued in a newspaper article earlier this year.

However, aside from Pakistan's proliferation footprints and ties with Iran, there is also the small matter of getting such a nuclear deal past the 44-member Nuclear Suppliers Group, which made an exception for India but might find Pakistan more unpalatable. The US-India deal itself remains to be fully implemented more than five years after it was first conceived.

Some experts also question whether Pakistan has the capacity to buy or absorb any nuclear power reactor given that the country is broke. But then, even signaling a shift in US policy is something that might mollify Pakistan for now. In fact, even Fair's recommendations of a conditional nuclear deal was seen in some Pakistani quarters as a conspiracy to penetrate and neutralize the country's nuclear assets.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-may-offer-India-like-nuke-deal-to-Pak/articleshow/5709719.cms
 

pkd

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In a first, US may discuss Pak’s n-plants demand




Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived here on Sunday with a high-power delegation to hold the first-ever strategic dialogue with US leaders, during which it is expected to seek civilian nuclear deal and military equipments aimed at balancing its power with India.



Prominent members of the delegation included Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, ISI Chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha and Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would lead the US delegation.



In a departure from its earlier stand, the US is ready to discuss Pakistan’s request for nuclear power plants, a media report said on Sunday.



“We are beginning to have a discussion with the Pakistan government” on the country’s desire to tap nuclear energy, US envoy in Islamabad Ambassador Anne W Patterson was quoted as saying in a Los Angeles-based Pakistani newspaper. She told the Pakistan Link newspaper that earlier America’s “non-proliferation concerns were quite severe” but attitudes in Washington were changing. “I think we are beginning to pass those and this is a scenario we are going to explore,” she added.

In a first, US may discuss Pak’s n-plants demand
 

Zaki

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strange no Pakistani news channel has reported this news so far? :what:
 

ajpirzada

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but keep ur horses under control. it took india 2 yrs in gettin the process started. and still they are trying to work out a deal with US
 

TechLahore

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US may offer India-like nuke deal to Pak


WASHINGTON: Amid reports of massive 16-20 hour power outages across Pakistan causing public unrest, the Barack Obama administration has indicated it is open to Islamabad's plea for a civilian

This is great news. But I don't think energy is the headline here... the real headline is the fact that whatever has happened in US-Pak relations in the recent 3-4 months is really more significant than meets the eye. In earlier articles posted on this forum concerning Gen. Kiyani's participation in the upcoming strategic talks in D.C. one of the aspects brought up repeatedly was the need for the US to put to rest any fears on the Pakistani side that the world had not accepted Pakistan's nuclear status. While reactors and such are and have been available to us from China, France etc. the fact that the US is entering into these discussions with Pakistan signals American willingness to take a significant step in advertising their comfort with the Pakistani nuclear program. That is a substantial development and goes beyond the statements made by the US politico-defence establishment concerning their satisfaction with the level of safety around Pakistani nukes. Qualitatively, this is a few steps of recognition beyond that parade of statements.

I had the pleasure to attend a recent dinner in Lahore where I met with some current members of Parliament and and retired senior Army officers. In conversations it became quite apparent that there is a broad consensus across party lines that Gen. Kiyani and Gen. Pasha have executed a master-stroke viz Pakistan's Af-US relations. There is a better understanding of our contribution and value now than there has existed at any point in time in the past, and there is also a real appreciation for the fact that we have indeed learned from our previous experiences. The notion of pushing Pakistan to do anything Pakistan does not want to do has been effectively discarded as a consequence of the Kiyani-Pasha strategy. This news item appearing a few days after we signed the IP(C) pipeline deal with Iran is just one example...
 

jbond197

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All Indian newspapers publishing this news but its not on any Pakistani newspaper. Have you guys start trusting TOI or Indian express? ;)

Anyways if it is true and deal indeed goes through then it's good for Pakistan..
 

Zaki

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it is also possible Americans don't us to get electricity from Iran (the proposed project of 2200MW) and both nations come close. They want to isolate Iran anyhow possible so it is possible they may offer a package to Pakistan but that is going to take a lot of time probably many years before the electricity is supplied :angry:
 

Windjammer

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The main agenda covering the strategic talks was going to be the effect of WOT on Pakistan's economy and the dire state of Pakistan's energy shortages. In earnest the US or for that matter other concerns haven't exactly met us half way for all the sacrifices Pakistan has made in life, money and material. It's high time the US showed it's side of the coin.
In any case the talks are not due to start until the 24th, hence the Indian media is merely predicting and jumping the gun.
 

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