International concerns have been raised by Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal, while Beijing has faced much criticism for its co-operation over nuclear energy with Islamabad.
Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who turned the country nuclear in 1998, sought Chinese assistance in the field of civil nuclear technology to overcome the country’s energy crisis during a meeting with visiting Premier Li Keqiang in Islamabad last month.
Neither India nor Pakistan, arch-rivals in many aspects, have joined the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, yet both possess nuclear arsenals. The US denied Pakistan a civilian nuclear deal, saying that it first had to improve its nuclear proliferation record.
So instead, the country has got what it needs from China.
Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal has been a sensitive topic for the US as it tries to improve relations with its frontline ally in the campaign against Islamist extremists. The US has restricted nuclear-related exports to Pakistan since it conducted its nuclear tests in 2008.
Beijing’s nuclear co-operation with Islamabad is likely to stir international concerns over the security of nuclear materials in a country where extremists are challenging the state’s writ.
Full article: China’s deepening role in Pakistan’s nuclear development (South China Morning Post)