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Pakistan be made part of Nuclear Suppliers Group: PM Nawaz

25 March, 2014

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THE HAGUE: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said Pakistan had the expertise, manpower and infrastructure to produce civil nuclear energy and called for the country's inclusion in all international export control regimes, especially the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Speaking at the third Nuclear Security Summit here, he said Pakistan had been running a safe and secure civil nuclear programme for more than 40 years and attached the highest importance to nuclear security because it was directly linked to its national security.

"Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and pursues a policy of nuclear restraint, as well as credible minimum deterrence," the prime minister said.Leaders from 53 countries, the United Nations, the European Union, International Atomic Energy Agency and Interpol are attending the summit.

"Our region needs peace and stability for economic development that benefits its people. That is why, I strongly advocate nuclear restraint, balance in conventional forces and ways to resolve conflicts," the prime minister said.

He said Pakistan's nuclear security was supported by five pillars — a strong command and control system led by the National Command Authority (NCA), an integrated intelligence system, a rigorous regulatory regime, a comprehensive export control regime and active international cooperation.

The prime minister said Pakistan's security regime covered physical protection, material control and accounting, border controls and radiological emergencies.He said Pakistan's nuclear materials, facilities and assets were safe and secure and the country's nuclear security regime was anchored in the principle of multi-layered defence for the entire spectrum — insider, outsider or cyber threat.

The prime minister said Pakistan had established a Centre of Excellence that conducted intense specialised courses in nuclear security, physical protection and personnel reliability. He said Pakistan was ready to share its best practices and training facilities with other interested states in the region and beyond.

He also paid tributes to President Barack Obama for launching the nuclear security summit process four years ago."As prime minister, I feel that energy deficit is one of the most serious crises facing Pakistan. As we revive our economy, we look forward to international cooperation and assistance for nuclear energy under the IAEA safeguards," he added.

He said international treaties and forums should supplement national actions to fortify the nuclear security.He said Pakistan was a partyto the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and worked closely with the IAEA to deal with safety and security of radioactive sources and illicit trafficking of nuclear materials.

The prime minister said Pakistan regularly submitted reports to the UN Security Council's 1540 Committee on the measures the country took to exercise control over transfer of sensitive materials and technologies.

"Looking back, we can say with confidence that our decisions and commitments have spurred national action, promoted international cooperation and fostered nuclear security culture," the prime minister said, adding that Pakistan has constructively contributed to this process.

The prime minister said all leaders gathered here wanted nuclear security, which was a national responsibility and a global priority.He said all the countries should continue to take measures to secure all nuclear facilities and materials and prevent any perceived nuclear terrorist threat.

"We all need radioactive sources for hospitals, industry and research but should be vigilant about radiological threats," he added.Premier Nawaz also met the US President Barrack Obama, Chinese President XI Jinping and Turkish President Abdullah Gul on the sidelines of the two-day summit and discussed with them matters of bilateral relations and mutual interest.

He is accompanied by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

End.

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