Nuke deal with China strictly in accordance with IAEA rules, insists Pak

     Pakistan has reiterated that its civil nuclear deal with China is in accordance with the norms set out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Foreign Office spokesperson, Abdul Basit said that Islamabad and Beijing have a history of nuclear cooperation, and demands of a clarification in this regard were unjustified. "The programme is purely for peaceful objectives and is according to the safeguards of IAEA," The Daily Times quoted Basit, as saying. "The cooperation was totally in accordance with our respective international responsibilities," he added while responding to India's demand for clarification over the issue. China has offered to set up two 650 megawatts nuclear reactors in Pakistan's Punjab's Chasma province', over which both the US and India have raised serious concerns. Questions and concerns have been raised and aired by New Delhi about the proposed sale of reactors to Pakistan by China. India 's main apprehension is whether or not these reactors would be the "grandfather" of previous reactors supplied to Pakistan. India also believes there is a need to meet NSG and IAEA guidelines, official sources said, adding that New Delhi is not against Pakistan developing its economic sector. China, which has been a member of the NSG since 2004, is required to seek an exemption from the 45-nation grouping that controls global flow of nuclear technology and material before supplying reactors to Pakistan. Pakistan has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). China insists the sale of two nuclear reactors to Islamabad is in accordance with its international obligations. There are however, chances of NSG countries coming together to let Beijing go through this "grandfather" of deals. India is not an NSG member and is strictly opposed to this "grandfather" formula promoted by Beijing. New Delhi also has reservations over expanding nuclear ties between all weather friends Pakistan and China. It should be noted that the 45-member NSG had granted a waiver to India to facilitate a civil nuclear deal with the United States in 2008, even though it was not a signatory to the NPT.

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