The problematic nuclear pact between the USA and India is causing further trouble with Pakistan now expressing concern that the deal could cause nuclear escalation in South Asia.

The so-called ‘123 agreement’ previously looked as if it might cause the break-up of the Indian coalition government because left-wing groups were against it.

Now, ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan’s permanent representative at the United Nations, is saying the pact erodes the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is “introducing discrimination” against states party to the NPT.

Khan said Pakistan is concerned about Indian assertions of rights to carry out nuclear weapons tests, and added that Pakistan has the legitimate right to meet its growing energy needs by using nuclear technology.

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India previously stated that the US pact would have adverse consequences for independent foreign policy, sovereignty and the economic interests of the Indian people.

An early election looked possible as a result of the pact but Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh is trying to avoid that outcome.

Singh told US president George Bush that he was having difficulty implementing the deal, a move that has been interpreted by some as a sign it may be shelved.

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