UNITED NATIONS: Underlining Islamabad’s strong advocacy for utilizing nuclear technology for peace and progress, a senior Pakistani diplomat told the UN General Assembly Monday that Pakistan continued to improve nuclear safety and protection measures at its nuclear power plants and research reactors.
Commenting on the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency’s annual report, Nabeel Munir, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the U.N., said that his government attaches “highest importance” to the security of its nuclear power plants, all of which were the agency’s safeguards.
He said Pakistan’s nuclear power capacity would expand significantly
over the next two decades to meet the country’s growing energy requirements.
“With over five decades of safe, secure and safeguarded civil nuclear
programme, Pakistan has always focused on developing a strong safety and regulatory infrastructure,” the Pakistani representative told the 193-member Assembly.
“Our four-decade experience of safely operating nuclear power plants has not made us complacent,” he said, adding, “To the contrary, we remain mindful of, and attach highest importance to, safety and security.”
Pakistan’s nuclear regulatory mechanism had grown into an effective
system, Munir said. With IAEA assistance, Pakistan aimed to further develop and expand its training programmes to bring additional participation in other areas.
Besides nuclear power, Pakistan’s national atomic agency commission
was providing health treatment through a network of 18 oncology hospitals, where 80 per cent of the country’s cancer patients were treated each year.
Munir said Pakistan viewed its membership of export control regimes,
particularly the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), as a “mutually beneficial proposition”.
Pakistan’s export control regime, he said, was at par with the
standards followed by the NSG, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Australia Group
“We, therefore, reiterate our call for an equitable, non-discriminatory
and criteria-based approach to promote civil nuclear cooperation and membership of export controls regimes, in particular that of the NSG.”