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Nuclear assets safe & secure

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Asmaar Bilal
It has been time and again stressed , asserted and reiterated by Pakistan at the appropriate highest level that its nuclear assets are quite safe and secure and nuclear technology is being utilized for peace and progress. All these years, . Islamabad has been telling the world at large that its nuclear programme is for ensuring minimum defence deterrent, nuclear assets are in absolutely safe hands and a very strong command and control system is in place. It is good to note that Pakistan has once again reiterated its demand for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for which it has strong credentials and expertise. Pakistan has also quite rightly emphasized the need for a transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria for the group’s membership of non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) applicants. Pakistan’s oft-repeated stance about safety and security of its nuclear assets and claim for NSG membership was quite emphatically stated when the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz delivered key-note address at a seminar on the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1540 held in Islamabad the other day. He also stated quite emphatically that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and held out firm assurance that it will continue to partner with the international community to prevent non-state actors from acquiring these weapons. Needless to say Pakistan attaches the highest importance to the security of its nuclear power plants, all of which are in accordance with Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and requirements. All this assertion of Pakistan regarding safety and security of its nuclear plants at the seminar, participated by 13 countries from South and Central Asia besides representatives of concerned international agencies, is quite commendable and laudable indeed. But at the same time, this scribe cannot help asking the international agencies and foreign countries as to why they do not give due consideration to Pakistan’s repeated requests for acquiring civil nuclear technology facility for peaceful purposes of overcoming its energy crisis and meeting future energy requirements and question India’s nuclear programme which is constantly being expanded as per reports in international media from time to time ?

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