India miffed over talk of US-Pak nuclear deal

India has predictably reacted strongly to reports that the US is considering a nuclear deal with Pakistan on the lines of the Indo-US nuclear deal, saying today that anyone considering such a pact with Islamabad should first look at its proliferation track record.

"We have seen these reports and it is not for the first time this issue has surfaced. Whosoever is examining that particular dossier should be well aware of Pakistan's track record in the area of proliferation. And when India got this particular deal it was on the basis of our own impeccable non-proliferation record," spokesperson for the external affairs ministry Vikas Swarup said.

In an apparent reference to Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was accused of leaking nuclear weapons technology to countries like North Korea, Swarup said, "That is the reason US gave us the 123 Agreement in 2005 and that is why we got a NSG (Nuclear Supply Group) waiver in 2008. Pakistan's track record is completely different, so we hope that will be taken into account in making any such decision."

Khan was one of Pakistan's top scientists and was involved in various scientific programmes there until his dismissal in January 2004 by the Pakistan government on evidence provided by the US about his involvement in leaking bomb-making designs and equipment to at least three countries - Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Ahead of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to the US this month, a report in The Washington Post said the US is negotiating a pact for new limits on Pakistan's nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and such a pact might lead to an agreement similar to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

In a separate query on talks between the two countries, Swarup said, "The understandings are very clear and that is the two (India and Pakistan) National Security Advisors are to meet to discuss all issues connected to terrorism. The Director General of the Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers and the Director General of Military Operations are to meet to sort out the issues on the border."

According to PTI news agency, Pakistan had pushed India for a meeting between their foreign ministers as a pre-condition for talks between their National Security Advisors which was turned down by India.