Pakistan pursues policy of nuclear restraint, credible minimum deterrence: Nawaz

Eurasia News

THE HAGUE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapons state and it pursues a policy of nuclear restraint, as well as credible minimum deterrence.

The two-day Nuclear Security Summit began in The Hague on Monday, aimed at promoting nuclear security through voluntary national actions and international cooperation.

The summit is being attended by 58 world leaders including US President Barrack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Mekel. ​

In his address to the 3rd Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague on Monday, the Pakistani prime minister said that his country attaches highest importance to nuclear security as it is directly linked to our national security.

“Pakistan’s nuclear security is 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.

The prime minister said that our security regime covers physical protection, material control and accounting, border controls and radiological emergencies. He said our nuclear materials, facilities and assets are safe and secure.

“Pakistan’s nuclear security regime is anchored in the principle of multi-layered defence for the entire spectrum – insider, outsider or cyber threat,” he said.

“We have established a Centre of Excellence that conducts intense specialized courses in nuclear security, physical protection and personnel reliability,” the premier said. “Pakistan is ready to share its best practices and training facilities with other interested states in the region and beyond.”

The prime minister said that Pakistan has also deployed radiation detection mechanisms at several exit and entry points to prevent illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear materials.

In the realm of international cooperation on nuclear security, he said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has an essential responsibility and a central role to play. He said that Pakistan has been working productively with the IAEA to implement its Nuclear Security Action Plan.

“Pakistan has been running a safe, secure and safeguarded civil nuclear programme for more than forty years. It has the expertise, manpower and infrastructure to produce civil nuclear energy,” Sharif said.

In addition, he pointed out that energy deficit is one of the most serious crises facing Pakistan. He said that as the country revives its economy, it looks forward to international cooperation and assistance for nuclear energy under IAEA safeguards.

The premier called for Pakistan’s inclusion in all international export control regimes, especially the Nuclear Suppliers Group. He said that international treaties and forums should supplement national actions to fortify nuclear security.

Sharif said that Pakistan is a party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. It works closely with the IAEA to deal with safety and security of radioactive sources and illicit trafficking of nuclear materials, the premier said.

It regularly submits reports to the UN Security Council 1540 Committee on the measure we take to exercise control over transfer of sensitive materials and technologies, he added.

The prime minister announced that Pakistan is considering ratification of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and is actively conducting a review to meet its various requirements.