Close ISI, NDS connection to check terror activities: Sartaj

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 12 (APP): A close collaboration between Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) would help check terrorist activities, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Friday.

Addressing a press conference here, the Advisor expressed confidence that a close ISI-NDS working relationship would result in effective border management with Afghanistan.

Sartaj Aziz said the response by Pakistani border forces in retaliation to firing from terrorists and drug smugglers to trespass, was often mistaken by Afghan side as unprovoked firing from Pakistan.

A trust-worthy exchange of information and intelligence sharing would check the inflow of terrorists, he added.

The Adviser said though several clues pointed to involvement of Indian intelligence agency RAW in the recent Quetta terrorist incident, however “Pakistan would not want finger-pointing without solid proof”.

He said the Indian serving officer Kalbhushun Yadav arrested
on spying charges was running a network in Pakistan and investigations were in progress to find his links with the Quetta incident.

The Adviser said Pakistan was considering to translate its unilateral moratorium of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) of nuclear material into a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India.

Sartaj Aziz terming it a “one-step ahead” in Pakistan’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation said the ball would be in India’s court to endorse the objective.

Despite being non-signatory to the Treaty, Pakistan maintains a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing.

Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan consistently supported CTBT after it voted on adoption by the UN General Assembly in 1996.

He said Pakistan’s strong lobbying efforts for membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) had yielded positive results.

Pakistan’s arguments for criteria-based approach, and the impact of any India-specific exemption on the strategic stability in South Asia and on the future of non-proliferation regime, has been accepted by several NSG countries, he added.

“It’s not only that we aim at blocking India. It’s the strategic stability to which Pakistan and India are inter-dependent upon,” he said.

He said Pakistan was committed not to transfer nuclear weapons to other states or assist others to acquire nuclear weapons.

He said Pakistan was confident of the merits of its membership application, with its export controls fully harmonized with those of NSG, Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Australia Group.

The Adviser mentioned the recent three steps taken to strengthen nuclear safety including public statement on nuclear test moratorium, ratification of the 2005 amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and declaring adherence to NSG guidelines.

He said the issue of NSG membership could not be separated from the consideration of strategic stability in the region.

“In 2008, the NSG missed an opportunity to promote simultaneous adherence to non-proliferation benchmarks by Pakistan and India, as a part of a package deal, which would have promoted restraint and stability in the region,” he said.

The Advisor said, “We are formally inviting NSG Troika (Korea, Argentina and Switzerland) to visit Pakistan for a detailed briefing on our credentials.”