Pakistan Lobbying ‘Pro-Actively’ To Stop India’s NSG Bid: Sartaj Aziz

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Islamabad: Pakistan is lobbying “effectively and pro-actively” in all member countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) over India’s efforts to join the 48-member exclusive club, Pakistan’s top foreign affairs adviser has said. The adviser to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, told the Senate that Pakistan’s “efforts towards non-discriminatory approach will pay off”.

His comments come amid India’s growing push to join the NSG club, backed by the US and Switzerland . Aziz was responding to concerns expressed by Pakistani senators over the “growing collusion between India and the US” and apprehension that the NSG member states would positively consider India’s request to join it.  India as well as Pakistan have both applied for membership to the NSG, which would allow both countries to join nuclear commerce.

Pakistan Muslim League-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman of the Senate defence committee, said NSG member states would be considering New Delhi’s request to join the group. Alleging that Pakistan’s diplomacy had “failed”, Sayed said that if India became a member of the NSG it would be able to block Pakistan’s entry into the group.

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“We have alienated Iran and Afghanistan and the two countries are now improving their economic ties with India,” he said.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently visited Afghanistan and Iran, which are immediate neighbours to Pakistan.

“This is our diplomatic failure. The Indians are encircling us from all sides. Even our immediate neighbours, like Afghanistan and Iran, have gone to India. It’s a result of our failed diplomacy and traditionally passive foreign policy,” Sayed added.

Besides efforts to counter Indian designs through military means, he called for “cohesion” within the country, saying that India should not be in a position to take advantage of the situation inside Pakistan.

Aziz asserted that the country’s scientists and experts were monitoring and evaluating the strategic threats that Indian nuclear doctrine posed to national security. He said that despite limited resources, Pakistan had developed a robust nuclear deterrent system.

The adviser said Pakistan was planning to highlight the “dangerous implications” of India’s plan to nuclearise the Indian Ocean. Pakistan was also considering the option of moving a resolution in the UN General Assembly, seeking to declare the Indian Ocean nuclear-free, he said.