Pakistan thanks China for NSG support during Mamnoon-Xi meet

Tashkent, June 23 (IANS) Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday thanked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for China’s support to Pakistan’s bid to join the Nuclear Supplier’s Group, even as New Delhi urged Beijing to judge its NSG bid on “merit”.

Thanking all-weather friend China, Hussain told Xi that “Only granting India the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group will shift the balance of power” in the region.

The Hussain-Xi successful meet came prior to that between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit here.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry said that Modi had urged China to “make a fair and objective assessment of India’s application and judge it on its own merit”.

China has been stalling India’s NSG bid on the grounds that New Delhi was not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But China has been actively lobbying for Pakistan to join the 48-nation NSG — which regulates global nuclear trade and technology.

During his talks with Xi, Hussain also said that Pakistan and China’s friendship had remained firm despite difficulties and trials.

“There exists a strategic partnership between China and Pakistan,” he said.

Hussain said that there was no place in Pakistan for the “enemies of China”. He also spoke about the $47 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said that his country was determined to complete the project by its due date.

The meeting in Tashkent comes as the NSG is holding a plenary in Seoul where it is expected to take up India’s membership application.

–IANS

ahm/rn

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