Pak qualifies for civil nuclear tech transfer: Shah Mehmood

LAHORE: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while quoting Pakistan’s urgent energy requirements has said that Pakistan has 35 years experience with no untowrad incident ever regarding our nuclear technology and this qualifies us for the civil nuclear technology transfer from the US.“Pakistan has the technology as well as technicians and can run civil nuclear programme efficiently”, he said while responding to the media men during a press conference on his return from the US at the State Guest House here Sunday. he Foreign Minister said that energy sector was on the top of agenda in the 13 sectors discussed during the starategic dialogues with US.To a query regarding Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, he said that the matter was not taken up at the dialogues adding that Pakistan had enetered a deal with Iran keeping in view its energy needs and run our industry.
About the defence grant to Pakistan, the FM said that the US would give defence equipment to Pakistan to enhance capacity of countering terrorism in the region.To a question about the military operation in North Waziristan, he said our armed forces have taken effective measures in the tribal belts and Pakistan’s security agencies were advancing in a systemic way in the area adding that around 34,000 troops have deployed there.To a query regarding Afghanistan, he said, “As far as Afghanistan is concerned, Pakistan and the US have convergence of interests and both want a peaceful and stable Afghanistan”.
He said that Pakistan was looking beyond terrorism and the government had started to promote people to people contacts with the Hazaras, Tajiks besides the Pashtuns adding that Pakistani economic interests were linked with peace in land-locked Afghanistan which a prove of a very good market for Pakistani investors.When asked about Kashmir, Qureshi said that the Kashmiri leadership had acknowledged PPP government’s services for the cause of Kashmiris and he himself took up the Kashmir issue at the UN by saying that “Mothers of Kashmiris are bewildered at the international silence on the atrocities in the Indian held Kashmir.”
He said Kashmir was on the agenda during the strategic dialogues, adding that the government made the US realize that no viable peace was possible in the region without resolution of the Kashmir issue.He said Pakistan wanted cordial relations with India and resolution of Kashmir issue was also in the Indian interest.The Foreign Minister further said that Pakistan supports bilateral dialogue on Kashmir and it was also on the agenda of Composite Dialogue with India, adding, Pakistan had made it clear to the US that performance of SAARC could not improve without settling down the core issue of Kashmir.
To a question about Dr. Afia Siddiqui, he said, the government had honestly taken up the issue with the US government on all forums and tried to provide all kinds of diplomatic, legal as well as financial assistance to her.
He said the government would adopt every measures for the release of Dr. Afia Siddiqui.
About CIA, Qureshi said, the security agencies had close links with each other all over the world. He said, Pakistan does share information with the CIA, since it is in our common interests.Regarding US President Barak Hussain Obama’s visit to Pakistan, the Foreign Minister said that the US President wanted to strengthen Pak-US ties and would visit Pakistan the next year adding that the US government would also invite President Asif Ali Zardari for US visit.
About taking PML(N) leadership into confidence regarding the strategic dialogues, Qureshi said that the government had pursued a policy of taking coalition partners, all political parties as well as the opposition into confidence on all national issues.
He said, “I had a chance meeting with the PML (N) Chief Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on my return from the US and I briefed him on the strategic dialogues during my flight from London to Pakistan. “The Minister further said, it was a chance meeting and the PML-N Chief’s response was positive to the strategic dialogues.
He said that a country’s foreign policy was always beyond partisan interests.
Qureshi said that the US government had an ideological bias for democracy and it wants to see a democratic dispensation in Pakistan, adding that 18th amendment was one of the greatest achievement by the democratic forces in the country.The Foreign Minister said that democracy has a bright future in Pakistan, it has to flourish along with the other democratic institutions in the country.Earlier, briefing the media about the recently concluded strategic dialogues, he said that Pakistan had made the parleys meaningful and achieved many positives.
Qureshi said the US Secretary of State, Hillry Clinton had agreed that Pakistan is today the most important partner in the war against terrorism.He clarified that the recently announced funds for Pakistan are neither a loan nor debt but a grant, which would be provided for education, health and other public sectors from Americans taxpayers’ money.
The Foreign Minister said, we have provided a new perspective to the Pak-US relations, adding, Pakistan, today, is not simply accepting but also making the US accept our terms.
Qureshi said, the US had awarded a five-year 7.5 billion dollars Economic Assistance Programme for the development of Pakistan’s economic sector along with a five-year Security Assistance Programme to assist Pakistan in the war against terrorism – App