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US amenable to providing Nuclear power plants to Pakistan


US amenable to providing Nuclear power plants to Pakistan

There seems to be sea change in US attitudes towards Islamabad. According to press releases, analyst reports, Islamabad’s demands, and positive signals from US officials, Pakistan will ask for Atomic energy, and the US Administration seems to be amenable to providing Civilian Nuclear Power plants to Pakistan.

Regional experts say Pakistan will be looking to Washington to recognize the threat it perceives from its eastern neighbor India, against whom it has fought and lost three wars. Pakistan is concerned that Indian economic and political involvement in Afghanistan could lead to unfriendly governments on both its eastern and western borders. Huffington Post. Pakistan to ask for more understanding at US talks. KATHY GANNON | March 19, 2010 10:43 AM EST |

  • Current US Administration accepts Pakistan as Nuclear state
  • US should do more: “We have already done too much … Pakistan has done its bit, we have delivered; now it’s your (the US) turn. Start delivering,” he said at a media briefing on the upcoming US-Pakistan strategic dialogue.Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
  • Pakistani security concerns: “One is to implicitly accept Pakistan’s status as a declared nuclear weapons state and thereby counter conspiracy theories that the United States is secretly plotting to seize Pakistani nukes,” The Washington Post.
  • Nuclear Power Plants for Pakistan: “We are beginning to have a discussion with the Pakistan government” on the country’s desire to tap nuclear energy. “We are going to have working level talks” Ambassador Patterson, the US envoy in Islamabad, Pakistan Link.
  • Civilian Nuclear Energy for Pakistan: “We have a very broad and complex agenda in these talks, and this is the first strategic dialogue ever at this level, and the first of this administration. And we’re going to listen carefully to whatever the Pakistanis say.” Richard Holbrooke.
  • Nuclear Deal: Civilian nuclear deal may be able to diminish Pakistani fears of US intentions while allowing Washington to leverage these gains for greater Pakistani cooperation on nuclear proliferation and terrorism”. C. Christine Fair, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University.
  • Growing Energy Demand: “Civilian nuclear technology will help Pakistan meet its growing energy demand… the [transfer of] drone technology will… [lead to] wider public acceptability [of strikes]“. President Zardari.
  • Reversing Anti-Americanism in Pakistan: Parity, Nuclear Plants

Empty promises will not work anymore. The US has to expeditiously deliver ROZ, FTA, nuke plants and Drone technology. This has to be resolved expeditiously. US Pakistani strategic partnership?–Here is a list

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s request for nuclear power plants may come up for discussion during the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue, which begins in Washington on March 24.

The indications came from two senior US officials, ambassadors Richard Holbrooke and Anne W. Patterson.

Ambassador Patterson, the US envoy in Islamabad, told a Los Angeles-based Pakistani newspaper: “We are beginning to have a discussion with the Pakistan government” on the country’s desire to tap nuclear energy. “We are going to have working level talks” on the issue in Washington this month.

She told the Pakistan Link newspaper that earlier America’s “non-proliferation concerns were quite severe” but attitudes in Washington were changing. “I think we are beginning to pass those and this is a scenario that we are going to explore,” she added.

Mr Holbrooke, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was less categorical but what he said at a briefing on Friday on the US-Pakistan strategic talks conveyed a similar message.

“While addressing Pakistan’s energy needs, are you considering helping them establish nuclear power plants to meet their energy needs?” he was asked.

A transcript released by the State Department on Saturday quoted Mr Holbrooke as saying: “We have a very broad and complex agenda in these talks, and this is the first strategic dialogue ever at this level, and the first of this administration. And we’re going to listen carefully to whatever the Pakistanis say.”

The response marks the first time a US official did not reject the Pakistani request outright. On all previous occasions, US officials insisted that their agreement for supplying nuclear power plants to India was exclusive to New Delhi and could not be offered to another country.

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the Obama administration was taking several steps to address Pakistani security concerns. “One is to implicitly accept Pakistan’s status as a declared nuclear weapons state and thereby counter conspiracy theories that the United States is secretly plotting to seize Pakistani nukes,” the report said.

Last month, a US scholar wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal backing Pakistan’s demand that the US should negotiate a nuclear deal with Pakistan, as it did with India.

“More so than conventional weapons or large sums of cash, a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal may be able to diminish Pakistani fears of US intentions while allowing Washington to leverage these gains for greater Pakistani cooperation on nuclear proliferation and terrorism,” wrote C. Christine Fair, an assistant professor at Georgetown University.

In her interview to the Link, Ambassador Patterson said the US was acutely conscious of the precarious energy situation in Pakistan, of people “sweating in 120 degree” without electricity, and would play its due role in raising installed generating capacity and making up for the present shortfall. US companies will be persuaded to invest in the power sector in Pakistan. N-plants to figure in talks, says Patterson By Anwar Iqbal ,Sunday, 21 Mar, 2010

President Zardari has clearly informed the US Administration that if they want to reduce the trust deficit in Pakistan and reverse growing Anti-Americanism in the region–then President Obama has to accord Islamabad parity with Delhi and not hold back on critical technologies that Pakistan needs. The two areas identified are Nuclear and Drone Technology. Pakistan needs both of these in order to resolve the energy crisis and to deal with the terror groups that cross into Pakistan. Since the US is responsible for the spillover of the war into Pakistan, and because Pakistan has been a front line state, first against the USSR, and now against terror–it is Pakistan’s right to demand reparations for the losses incurred.

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