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Pakistan envoy weighs in on Japan-India nuclear deal

Pakistan’s special envoy to Tokyo on Wednesday urged Japan to ensure that Japan’s recently signed nuclear power agreement with India is not misused by India.


“[It is important] to ensure whatever is being supplied by Japan is not being diverted towards production of weapons,” Zamir Akram, the special envoy of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said in an interview with The Japan News.


Akram claims that India is acquiring nuclear material from abroad after signing nuclear power agreements with several countries. He says that India is using the material for its civilian nuclear reactors and diverting its own nuclear material toward production of weapons.


According to the envoy, these countries signed nuclear agreements with India after the United States in the mid-2000s made “a strategic decision to build up India as a counterweight to China.”


In November, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the nuclear power agreement in Tokyo and released a Japan-India Joint Statement that said, “The two Prime Ministers reiterated the need to further consolidate their security and defense cooperation.”


Akram raised a concern that a failure to closely monitor nuclear-related materials provided to India “actually contributes to greater instability in South Asia because it is leading to a nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan.” He added, “We have to respond to ensure that there is no gap in the nuclear deterrence.”


Tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals have recently been high following a series of confrontations over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. Akram warned: “In the event that nuclear war breaks out even by accident, the impact will not be limited to just South Asia. It will spread all over.”

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