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Efforts for NSG membership

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and its nuclear assets are safe and it qualifies for NSG membership. He added that people of Pakistan were the owners of Pakistan`s nuclear programme which was meant only for its defence as a sovereign nation.”Pakistan has always voiced its desire for strategic stability and urges all regional partners to utilise resources for economic development instead of furthering nuclearisation in the region that in turn usher insecurity in the region,” he said. Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and its nuclear assets are safe and regularised by an autonomous body which is Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Radio Pakistan quoted him as saying.He said Pakistan qualifies for the membership for Nuclear Suppliers Group and has mobilised the member countries for supporting the cause. The Foreign Secretary hoped that political and commercial motives will not hinder Pakistan’s membership for the NSG.Chaudhry said Pakistan has urged the international community and particularly the United States to shun discriminatory practices in the context of nuclear and defence ties as it jeopardizes the stability of whole region. “Credible minimum deterrence remains our principle and as a sovereign country we take every step for the defence of our motherland if any strategic partnership or alliance threats our security and regional stability,” he said. Referring to recent US-India defence deal, he said we have no comments for the bilateral relations of any country if “these do not undermine our security and stability of the region.” He said Pakistan is a staunch advocate of nuclear non- proliferation at international level and believes in amicable solution of all disputes. In the context of India and Pakistan bilateral relations, he said both countries need to bolster the Confidence Building Measures to reach pragmatic solutions for their long standing disputes.He said dialogue is the only way possible to keep the relations at a positive trajectory. There has been consistent propaganda by some foreign countries in their bid to malign Pakistan on the plea that its nuclear assets could fall into the hands of terrorist groups or some rogue elements, despite the fact that there was not remote possibility of this happening because of comprehensive measures adopted by the country. The elements of nuclear security in Pakistan include an effective command and control system under the National Command Authority, rigorous regulatory regime, comprehensive export controls and extensive physical protection measures. Pakistan has invested appropriately in nuclear security in terms of material, technology and human resource to improve its physical protection of facilities and personnel, information, material control and accounting. Americans are on record having said on several occasions that they were not in the know of exact location of Pakistan’s nuclear warheads. If Americans with latest technology and gadgets are unable to locate them then there is absolutely no question of any terrorist group laying hands on them but the objective of the enemy is to delegitimize Pakistan’s nuclear capability. It is known to all that Pakistan has established a purpose-raised standalone, specially trained and equipped nuclear security force with land, air and sea-borne components, supported by dedicated intelligence and early warning system. Pakistan should proactively pursue its case for the membership for the nuclear suppliers group.

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