Nuclear safety

Published: March 14, 2017
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Pakistan is a member of a very exclusive club — the club of nations that possess nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. Membership of the nuclear club carries with it heavy responsibilities, responsibilities that Pakistan has always taken with the utmost seriousness. This was underscored by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday March 14 when he addressed a two-day regional seminar in Islamabad regarding the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540. The UN in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was concerned at the possibility of non-state actors getting hold of either nuclear devices or the means by which to construct a ‘dirty’ bomb. This is a very real risk, and Resolution 1540 seeks to ensure the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Among other things it obliges states to modify their internal legislation and then enforce it. With Pakistan one of only two nuclear states currently fighting a war within its boundaries against powerful non-state actors (the other is India) this has a particular relevance, especially as Pakistan has long sought membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and as such seeks to advance the peaceful use of nuclear technologies in developing countries. This includes the strategic and dual-use of goods and materials. Pakistan is willing — and able — to share expertise and technical help to not only developing countries in the region — but beyond.

There has never been any suggestion that Pakistan is anything other than a responsible and diligent actor on the nuclear stage. We have developed a broad range of legal, regulatory, organisational and enforcement measures and they are in the public domain for the most part — some are not because they represent information that terrorists would like to obtain. There is a commitment to transparency that reinforces perceptions of Pakistan as a nuclear-responsible state. The NSG membership would allow us to develop and further strengthen our role within the nuclear-armed community. Building bridges based on trust within the NSG benefits not only states trading nuclear goods and technologies, but contributes to the wider but less tangible sense of security that goes with responsible stewardship of nuclear assets — a contribution that Pakistan can and should make.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • PrakashG
    Mar 15, 2017 - 11:42AM

    So many other countries have signed NPT and become members of NSG. Pakistan too can do the same. Why does it have to look at what India is doing?Recommend

  • FAZ
    Mar 15, 2017 - 12:37PM

    @PrakashG:
    So many countries have signed NPT and become members of NSG. India too can do the same. Why does it have to look at what Pakistan is doing?Recommend

  • PrakashG
    Mar 15, 2017 - 2:46PM

    @FAZ:
    India has some very well-stated reasons for not signing NPT. What are yours?Recommend

  • Vectra
    Mar 15, 2017 - 3:03PM

    @FAZ “So many countries have signed NPT and become members of NSG. India too can do the same. Why does it have to look at what Pakistan is doing?”

    India is doing in its own merit while Pakistan is doing because India is doing it.Pakistan is not doing on its own merits like like India.Recommend

  • cautious
    Mar 15, 2017 - 3:36PM

    There has never been any suggestion that Pakistan is anything other than a responsible and diligent actor on the nuclear stage.
    .
    Short memory? You seem to be excluding the sale of nuke technology to N. Korea, Iran and Libya.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Mar 16, 2017 - 8:40AM

    @Vectra:
    @PrakashG:
    I think i made my point. Pakistan should be looking at India not just its a threat to its existence but because its a bigger economy, a role model in Industrial growth etc. But a majority of Indian commenting on a Pakistani news portal suggest otherwise. Secondly forget NPT. Dont talk of rules and regulations in this hypocritical world. Money matters everywhere.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Mar 16, 2017 - 8:40AM

    @cautious:
    You seem to be forgetting the only nation that actually used the bomb on civilians. Not just once. Twice!Recommend

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