Government concerned over China-Pakistan nuke deal: Sushma Swaraj

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Sushma-SwarajExpressing concern over the nuclear deal between China and Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said the government has raised the issue with China and asserted that it is “well prepared” to safeguard national interests.

“India is well prepared (to deal with threats)… We are fully alert… We will not allow any harm to (happen to) India,” Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha.
She asserted that the government remains committed to taking all necessary steps to safeguard India’s national security interests.

Her remarks came while replying to queries regarding steps taken by the government to safeguard the country’s interests against the backdrop of Pakistan entering into a nuclear deal with China.

“Government remains concerned about the impact of the deal on global non-proliferation norms. Government believes that countries should abide by the commitments that they have undertaken in the field of nuclear non-proliferation,” she said.

During Question Hour, Swaraj said the government is aware of the agreement to supply two additional nuclear power reactors, Chashma-3 and Chashma-4 by China to Pakistan. These reactors are under construction, in addition to Chashma-1 and 2, which are already in operation.

“Government is further aware of reports of an agreement for supply of additional reactors of Chinese origin to be built at Chashma, Karachi and a third site in Pakistan,” she said.

She noted that India keeps raising the issue with China.

“Government has raised this issue in bilateral discussions with China. China maintains that its nuclear supplies to Pakistan are in accordance with its international obligations and are only for peaceful purposes,” she said.

China, being a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), has the responsibility to ensure that necessary safeguards are in place before exporting nuclear technology, Swaraj noted.

To another query related to the China-Pakistan nuclear deal, Swaraj said the situation has not reached the level where it needs to be raised in the United Nations.