Pakistan's NSG bid: Nawaz Sharif's envoy embarks on visit to Belarus, Kazakhstan
A special envoy carrying letters from Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif addressed to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Photograph: (Getty)
In a bid to gather support for its membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a top Pakistan official on Tuesday embarked on a visit to Belarus and Kazakhstan.
As a special envoy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi is undertaking visits to Belarus and Kazakhstan betweeen August 23 to 27, the foreign office said in a statement.
"The objective of the visits is to seek the two friendly countries' support for Pakistan's membership of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group," it said.
Fatemi, according to official sources, is carrying letters from Sharif addressed to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
"In his letters, the Prime Minister has underscored the need for the NSG to adopt a non-discriminatory approach on the question of the membership for non-NPT states in order to promote strategic stability in South Asia and strengthen the global non-proliferation regime," the Foreign Office said.
In Belarus, Fatemi will call on President Lukashenko and will hold meetings with foreign minister Vladimir Makei, deputy foreign minister Valentin Rybakov and minister of industry Vitali Vovk, it said.
In Kazakhstan, the Special Assistant's programme would include meetings with Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov and Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan M Ashikbayev.
Arguably, Pakistan faces a tough challenge in gaining entry into the nuclear trading club as it has failed to get the support of the US which is pushing for India's membership.
China is leading opposition to a push by the United States to bring India into the NSG which aims to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation by stopping the sale of items that can be used to make nuclear arms.
Last week, India and China agreed to continue discussions to narrow down their differences over New Delhi's membership of the elite NSG during Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi's visit to the country, foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup informed.
(WION with inputs from agencies)