France-Pakistan Nuclear Deal 3 versions from around the world
America at War
Global Perspectives on the “Af/Pak” War
Le Monde, 15 May 2009, reports (translation):
Nicolas Sarkozy promises 12 million euros in aid for displaced Pakistanis
Nicolas Sarkozy has promised to release 12 million euros to help displaced Pakistanis fleeing the fighting between the army and the Taliban in northwestern Pakistan, said his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, Friday May 15, while visiting Paris.
Asked about the situation in the capital of Swat in northwest Pakistan, where fighting has raged between the army and the Taliban, the Pakistani president said there are “always anxieties [des inquiétudes] everywhere. … But we have the support and confidence of the world; democracy will always prevail” [la démocratie finit toujours par l’emporter]. This is a “fight against a state of mind” and the offensive “is not limited in time,” he added.
The French president has also proposed to his Pakistani counterpart, assistance from France on civil nuclear technology, said the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi. “The two countries have agreed in principle,” he said.
Asif Ali Zardari stopped in Paris on Friday as part of a tour designed to reassure Westerners who worry about the stability of Pakistan, in the face of the surge of Islamist extremists. After a stay in Washington, where he met US President, Barack Obama, and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, Asif Ali Zardari visited the UN headquarters in New York, and London, where he pleaded for international assistance for tens of thousands of Pakistani civilians trapped by the fighting.
Le Figaro, 15 May 2009, rejects Qureshi’s claim, in its story (partial translation):
Paris offers nuclear cooperation to Pakistan
Nicolas Sarkozy received his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, at the Élysée on Friday.
With rapidly rising dangers in Pakistan, Paris has proposed that the country cooperate with them in the civil nuclear field. more specifically, Nicolas Sarkozy indicated to his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari on Friday that France was ready to offer assistance “in the field of nuclear safety” [la sûreté nucléaire]. This, “so that the Pakistani civil nuclear energy program develops in the best conditions of safety” [afin que le programme nucléaire civil pakistanais se développe dans les meilleures conditions de sécurité], as stated by the Élysée. However, no transfer of technology is mentioned, contrary to what the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said at a press conference Friday in Paris.
“What has been done for India, we can do for Pakistan,” said the Foreign Minister of Islamabad, with obviousl reference to recent cooperation agreements between New Delhi and the United States, and France. Agreements which permit, under certain condition, the delivery of civilian nuclear power stations of recent generation, to India. And more generally to develop a large-scale industrial and scientific cooperation programme in the field of civil nuclear energy with the country.
[Le Figaro then goes on to dismiss the likelihood of such an agreement with Pakistan, given that it has never been on the agenda in either Washington or Paris, Pakistan’s poor proliferation record, and its current instability. What has been agreed, Le Figaro claims is a token measure of support to bolster the government, under attack from the Taliban; like the assistance for displaced persons, that has also been announed.]
It is in this light that we should read what Geo Pakistan, 15 May 2009, reports:
France wants India-style Nuclear Deal for Pakistan
PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy told his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari he wanted Islamabad to have a wide-ranging deal to buy nuclear equipment like the one obtained by its rival India, Pakistan said on Friday.
“France has agreed to transfer civilian nuclear technology to Pakistan They have agreed that Pakistan should be treated like India,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters after his country’s president met Sarkozy.
“President Sarkozy said, and I quote him, ‘What can be done for India can be done for Pakistan as well.’ This is a major development,” Qureshi said after the meeting in Paris between Sarkozy and President Asif Ali Zardari.
An official in Sarkozy’s office said France wanted Pakistan to improve its nuclear security but did not comment on the idea of an India-style deal.
“The president confirmed that we are prepared to cooperate with Pakistan in the area of nuclear safety,” he said.
Qureshi dismissed concerns about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and its proliferation history. Like India, Pakistan has also not signed up to the NPT.
“We will assure the world that we are an important and a responsible nuclear power and we can handle these matters without threatening or endangering anyone,” he said.
“Pakistan has no issues with the IAEA. We are willing to give international guarantees. We want the world to feel secure, and Pakistan will give all necessary guarantees,” Qureshi said when asked about the feasibility of a Pakistani nuclear deal.”
[See also Moin Ansari, on Can Pakistan trust French “Offer” of Civilian Nuclear technology.]