WASHINGTON: Responding to a question about India s membership application to the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) and opposition to it by Pakistan on the grounds that this would give pace to nuclear arms race in the region, the Unites States has said it is not about an arms race, but about civilian use of nuclear energy.
“This is not about an arms race and it’s not about nuclear weapons. This is about the peaceful civil use of nuclear energy, and so we would certainly hope that Pakistan understands that,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference on Friday.
However, the US has fingers crossed, ahead of the crucial meeting of the 48-nation NSG.
“Look, all I can say is that during his visit to India in 2015, President (Barack) Obama did affirm the US view that India meets missile technology control regime requirements and is ready for membership. But it s a consensus body, so we ll wait and see how the vote goes,” Toner said.
“Deliberations about the prospects of new members joining the Nuclear Supplier Groups are an internal matter among the current members. I don t have much to say beyond that other than that I think they meet regularly,” he said.
To a question regarding Pakistan’s desire to become the NSG member of NSG, the spokesman said: “They (Pakistan) have made public their interest, and certainly any country can submit its application for membership. We will consider based on a consensus decision.”
When asked about efforts to locate Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan, Mark Toner said that the US continue to cooperate closely with Afghanistan in the regard.
He also urged Pakistan to go after terrorists, especially Taliban leadership.