TASHKENT (Web Desk) – President Mamnoon Hussain thanked President Xi Jinping for China’s unequivocal support for Pakistan’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and said that the neighboring country’s stance was based on the policy of non- discrimination.

The two leaders expressed these views in a delegation-level meeting held here at Kuksaroy, on the sidelines of the 16th summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

China has opposed India’s NSG membership bid on the grounds that it is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

China’s stand against India is also based on an understanding that the future of nuclear safety can not be guaranteed if ‘illegitimate’ nuclear states like India or Pakistan are allowed to join the global nuclear trading regime.

Despite this strong counter-arguments to India’s NSG inclusion, Beijing has repeatedly stated that it does not oppose India’s bid for membership.

“The meeting discussed issues of bilateral interest including cooperation in economic and defense sectors, with the specific focus on Pakistan’s inclusion in Nuclear Suppliers Group,” said Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry.

“The President emphasized that Pakistan and India should be included in the NSG at the same time, similar to their inclusion in SCO,” he said.

Chinese President Xi has assured President Mamnoon that his country would recommend a criteria-based approach for the inclusion of new countries in to the NSG, which would support Pakistan’s case, the Foreign Secretary said.