ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: As Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is set to visit the United States later this month, Washington plans to clinch a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan.
In its reported published on Wednesday, The Washington Post said that the US is exploring an option that could pave the way for a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan like the one concluded with India in 2005.
The report said that that the proposed deal could place new limits and controls on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in return for “a version of the civil nuclear deal”.
The prime minister will visit Washington on October 22 at the invitation of the US President Barack Obama.
During his visit, the prime minister will meet President Obama, his Cabinet members and foreign policy makers.
“We are in regular contact with the government of Pakistan on a range of issues as we prepare for the prime minister’s visit,” a US government spokesperson told media.
The spokesperson also said that the United States “urges all nuclear-capable states including Pakistan to exercise restraint” regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities.
“We encourage efforts to strengthen safety and security measures and continue to hold regular discussions with Pakistan on a range of global issues including nuclear security, counter-terrorism, and international norms,” she said.
The US-India civil nuclear agreement was signed in July 2005 under which India agreed to separate its civil and military nuclear facilities and to place all its civil nuclear facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, while in exchange the United States agreed to work toward full civil nuclear cooperation with India.