Washington: The United States said Tuesday it would "consider" Pakistan's request for a civil nuclear deal keeping in mind the country's immediate and long-term energy needs. The assertion by US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, contradicts an earlier statement issued Monday by the US embassy in Pakistan that no such negotiations were being considered.
| Hillary Rodham Clinton|
Clinton said the issue of energy would certainly be one of the subjects of discussion but she would not like to pre-judge the outcome of the talks.
"I am sure that's going to be raised and we are going to be considering it but I can't pre-judge or pre-empt what the outcome of our discussions will be," Clinton said when queried whether Pakistan could have a civil nuclear deal with the US similar to the one that is still hanging fire with India.
"On the energy issues specifically there are more immediate steps that could be taken. We want to help Pakistan with an immediate and long term needs," Clinton said.
Her comments were made in the course of an interview with a Pakistani TV channel.
The previous Bush administration refused to entertain Pakistani requests for a deal similar to the one with India arguing that non-proliferation records of India and Pakistan were not comparable.
Earlier, US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, in a interview with a US-based Pakistani newspaper had made the startling revelation that America's non-proliferation concerns were probably too severe and that the time had come to explore nuclear cooperation with Pakistan. (See: US:'Kashmir key to Pakistan's long-term security').