Pakistan Saturday said it has “strong credentials” to become a member of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group, arguing it has streamlined and strengthened its export control regime.
“Pakistan has strong credentials to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export control regimes, on non-discriminatory basis,” Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi told the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS).
Over the years, Pakistan has streamlined and strengthened its export control regime and enhanced its engagement with multilateral export control regimes, Fatemi said in a statement.
He was representing his country in the two-day summit in the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who cancelled his US trip in the aftermath of the Lahore terror attack.
Pakistan laid its claim to be a responsible member of the global nuclear community unmindful of the fact that the international community is yet to recover from the dreaded A Q Khan network of nuclear proliferation.
The country has been lobbying hard to become a member of the NSG, the 48-member nuclear club, whose members can trade in and export nuclear technology.
NSG is a powerful multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapons development.
Pakistan has been saying that if it is deprived of NSG membership while India is accommodated, it would be taken as discrimination and lead to an imbalance in the region. Its National Command Authority has noted with concern India’s rapidly expanding conventional military asymmetry and dangerous limited conventional war policy called the ‘Cold Start’ doctrine.
Fatemi, while describing Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state, also said his country takes nuclear security
very seriously and accords it the highest priority in its security construct.
Pakistan, he said, is strongly committed to the objective of nuclear security and has been proactively engaged with the international community to promote nuclear safety and security.
“Our nuclear security paradigm, evolved over the years, is effective and responsive against the entire range of possible threats. Nuclear security regime in Pakistan is dynamic and regularly reviewed and updated,” he said.
Asserting that Pakistan believes that safe and sustainable civil nuclear energy is essential to advance its
economic development plans, Fatemi said his country’s Energy Security Plan includes a Nuclear Power Programme 2050, to meet current energy shortfalls and future requirements of a growing population and economy.
“Towards this end, we envisage generation of nuclear energy of 40,000 MW.
“To realise this plan, Pakistan seeks international civil nuclear cooperation,” he said.
Fatemi said Pakistan has an elaborate programme for harnessing peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
“We operate power plants, research reactors, agriculture and biotechnology research centres, medical centres, and also employ industrial applications of nuclear technology,” he said adding that Pakistan is proud to have more than 42 years’ experience in safe and secure operations of nuclear power plants under IAEA safeguards.
The statement claimed that as a country with advanced nuclear fuel cycle capability, Pakistan is in a position to provide nuclear fuel cycle services under IAEA safeguards, and to participate in any non-discriminatory nuclear fuel cycle assurance mechanisms.