Amid NSG rivalry, Pakistan says it wants cordial ties with India

Islamabad, June 9: Even as Pakistan was lobbying hard to scuttle India's bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the country's top foreign affairs advisor on Thursday said that Islamabad was willing to have cordial relations with other countries, including neighbour India.

At a press conference here, the Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz maintained that Pakistan aims to solve all disputes and grievances with India on the negotiating table.

Aziz's statement, in response to a question, comes a day after Islamabad stepped up its diplomatic outreach among members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group by calling envoys over for a meeting here.

Pakistan foreign ministry's UN Desk on Wednesday held a briefing in Islamabad for diplomatic missions of NSG member-countries to put forward its argument against India's membership and to push for its own entry to the elite group. During the meeting, Pakistan also warned that country-specific exemptions could negatively impact strategic stability in South Asia.

Both Pakistan and India have applied to be members of the 48-member NSG that regulates global nuclear commerce.

India is being backed in its bid by several major NSG members, including the US.

However, Chi is backing Pakistan. Beijing maintains that if India, a non-sigtory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is given membership, then Pakistan too should be taken on board.

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Sentinel Assam