Pakistan generating nuclear energy to meet demand

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said Thursday that it seeks cooperation of the international community including the United States on civil nuclear energy, hence there should be a non-discriminatory approach on nuclear issues — including Pakistan’s access to peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Pakistan is generating nuclear energy to meet its energy demands, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said during a weekly news briefing in Islamabad, reportedRadio Pakistan.

A report published in The Washington Post on Wednesday suggested that the US is exploring an option that could pave the way for a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan like the one concluded with India in 2005.

Khalilullah said Pakistan is ready for talks with India but its pre-conditions are not acceptable.

“We have insisted for negotiations on all issues including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir,” the spokesman said, adding that Pakistan has never shied away from talks with New Delhi.

Khalilullah maintained that the four-point initiative presented by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month is the way forward for reducing tensions and the resolution of outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India.

Responding to a question, Khalilullah said the purpose of handing over dossiers to the UN Secretary General was to inform him about the Indian involvement in fomenting terrorism in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan will continue to inform UN about its concerns in this regard in future as well.

Commenting on India’s far right political party Shiv Sena’s call for the cancellation of Pakistan’s popular ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai, the spokesman said it was “regrettable” that Pakistani artists were receiving threats in India.

He said that cultural exchanges were vital for the improvement of relations between the two countries.

When asked about the eruption of violence in India on cow-slaughtering, he said that a country which claims to be a secular state should guarantee basic rights to its minorities.

Attacks on Muslims in India on the issue of cow-slaughtering are beyond comprehension and a cause of concern for the Muslim World, Khalilullah added.

“The export of beef is not possible without the slaughtering of cows,” he said, claiming that India is known as the world’s second largest exporter of beef.

Responding to a question, the FO spokesman said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all forms and will not tolerate the presence of Daesh or the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group, or any of its associated groups on its land.

“There is nothing Islamic about Daesh that it should be referred to as ISIL or ISIS,” he said.

The spokesperson strongly rejected allegations that Pakistani agencies or forces are involved in attacks in Afghanistan.

Khalilullah said Islamabad has been helping Kabul in countering terrorism and in the development process. “We are in touch with the Afghan authorities to restore trust level between the two countries,” he said.

He said Pakistan has supported intra-Afghan dialogue process and also hosted the first round of talks between the Afghan Taliban and government in Murree.

About the launch of airstrikes by Russia in Syria, Khalilullah said Pakistan has a principled position on the issue based on neutrality, impartiality, and respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria. Voicing concern over the violence in Syria, he said the Syrian government and opposition groups should settle their matters peacefully.

When asked about the Mina tragedy, the spokesperson said all out efforts are being made to locate the 43 missing Pakistani pilgrims. He said according to the latest information, 89 Pakistani pilgrims died and five others were wounded in Mina tragedy.

He said the Saudi authorities extended full cooperation to Pakistan in identification of dead and missing pilgrims.

“Saudi Arabia has been making excellent Haj arrangements over the last many years and we have full confidence in their abilities to manage this process,” the spokesman said.

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