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China to back Pakistan stance on civil nuclear deal

China to back Pakistan stance on civil nuclear deal ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani reiterated his government’s commitment to take all parliamentary parties into confidence on all national policies particularly defence, Kashmir and nuclear policies.

In his opening statement while chairing a special meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security at the Parliament House Wednesday afternoon, the Prime Minister said Pakistan being a nuclear state was cognizant of its responsibilities.

Pakistan has developed effective nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation measures underpinned by extensive legislative, regulatory and administrative framework, he added.

He further said that as chairman of the National Command Authority, his government fully accepts the responsibility of nuclear security.

The Prime Minister said nuclear power generation offers viable solutions for energy security and addressing the challenge of climate change.

He said that China would support Pakistan demand that the United States also make a civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan like it had done with India.

He mentioned Pakistan had more than 35 years experience of operating nuclear power plants successfully. He further said highly trained manpower and a well established foolproof safety and security culture fully qualifies Pakistan for equal participation in civil nuclear cooperation at the international level which would help in addressing immediate energy problems and would bring greater stability as well.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan is a democratic, progressive and peaceful country.

He added that the socio-economic development hinges on the ability to meet rapidly expanding energy requirements.

He stressed, “we need to explore all options to ensure a reliable energy mix and civil nuclear power generation is therefore an essential part of our national energy security strategy.”

The Prime Minister declared that the government considers nuclear safety, security and safeguards as vehicles for facilitating international civil nuclear cooperation.

He observed that the objectives of nuclear non-proliferation, safety and security can only be served and promoted through a non-discriminatory paradigm for international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Earlier Lt. General (Rtd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, DG SPD briefed the Parliamentary Committee on Pakistan’s nuclear programme and security of nuclear assets.

He mentioned that Pakistan has one of the best systems of safety and security of nuclear assets and technology both on the defence and civilian side.

Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador in China who participated in the preliminary deliberations of the forthcoming Nuclear Summit in Washington, apprised the Parliamentary Committee on the objectives of the Summit and the preparations made by Pakistan to be able to positively contribute in the deliberations of the Summit.

The USA, he mentioned, has already made the objectives public which are a manifestation of President Barack Obama’s three point strategy for non-proliferation of nuclear technology in the interest of global security.

The representatives of all the political parties in the Parliament Committee on National Defence applauded the gesture of the Prime Minister for taking them into confidence prior to his participation in an important International Summit.

They assured him complete support and expressed confidence that he would be able to put across Pakistan’s viewpoint forcefully being a democratically elected Prime Minister enjoying complete backing of the entire nation.

The members of the Committee also appreciated the preparations made by the Pakistani side for the Summit. The members also gave suggestions on various aspects of the subject of the Summit which were aptly accommodated.

The special meeting was also attended by General Tariq Majid, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Committee and the Foreign Secretary.

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