ISLAMABAD: Apart from serving the needs of a deterrent to maintain security and regional peace, Pakistan’s nuclear programme is also helping the country pursue as many as 12 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its socio-economic development.
These thoughts were shared during a webinar on Thursday on ‘Youm-e-Takbeer 2020’. The webinar had been organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad to mark the 22nd anniversary of the nuclear tests conducted on May 28, 1998, which proved to the world that Pakistan was a nuclear power.
Mental health and sustainable development
Kamran Akhtar, the director-general of Arms Control and Disarmament at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, stated that the substantial Indian defence acquisitions and developments in the areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and space militarisation were destabilizing the region. He urged the international community to exercise caution in sharing its advanced nuclear and other related technologies with India which is emerging as an extremist and anti-status quo state. Akhtar further emphasised that the international community must collectively dissuade India from engaging in any misadventure as it could lead to grave consequences which could spill over to the rest of the world.
He further stated that Pakistan’s nuclear expertise can be compared with other developed countries, hence it is qualified to become an active and productive member of the strategic nuclear export control regime.
Former Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) chairman Dr Ansar Pervez said that nuclear technology is being used for peaceful purposes all over the world including in medicine, health, agriculture, industry, pollution control, water resources management, safe and sustainable electricity production.
Nuclear technology, he said, has allowed Pakistan to develop 100 new varieties of crops which have added Rs1.2 trillion to the national exchequer. Moreover, 0.8 million cancer patients are treated every year by hospitals using nuclear radiation.
PTI govt rejects plan to shift SDG scheme
Dr Naeem Salik, a former Strategic Plans Division (SPD) director, Pakistan maintains a posture of credible, minimum deterrence which helps provide it with security without engaging in a costly arms race.
IPS Executive President Khalid Rahman said that the unparalleled success of the national nuclear programme is evidence that whenever the nation and its leadership have resolved and consistently pursued any goal with strong commitment, then it can be achieved despite the odds.
This aspect of the Pakistani nation provides a guiding principle to follow in policymaking to address various national issues.
“If we understand this principle and pursue our other national goals with similar zeal, spirit, determination, consistency and unity, then we can effectively meet all other challenges that our nation faces,” Rahman stated.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2020.