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Pakistan’s Civil Nuclear Credentials Suffice for Nuclear Suppliers Group Membership

On 23rd May 2017, in a seminar titled “Pakistan Peaceful Nuclear Technology and the Politics of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), conducted by Rabita Forum International, it was established that Pakistan maintains a strong case for NSG membership. The esteemed guests who comprised of intellectuals from all wakes of life established that Pakistan’s civil nuclear credentials suffice for NSG membership. Pakistan is a peaceful country which has maintained nuclear weapons as a deterrent and as a nation Pakistan fully understands the responsibility that comes with it. Pakistan’s nuclear technology, however, is not confined to weapons only in fact, Pakistan places much more emphasis on the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Pakistan makes of nuclear technology for power generation, in medicines and even in agriculture. Pakistan understands the many uses of nuclear technology and intends to benefit from these uses greatly in the future as well. In terms of power generation, Pakistan is currently working on K2 and K3 power plants alongside China which will each yield a capacity of 1100MW and the first of these plants will become operational by 2022. In recognition of the growing energy needs of the country Pakistan government has increased the share of nuclear power in the overall power mix of the country. Pakistan further intends to enhance its reliance on nuclear power generation in the future. According to Pakistan government’s plans the share of nuclear power generation will grow to 8800MW by 2030. In addition to power generation Pakistan places great emphasis on the use of nuclear technology in the medical sector as well. Nuclear energy in medicines can very accurately determine the size and depth of objects while maintaining distance. As a result it can be used to determine the size of tumors. Pakistan atomic energy commission operates 18 medical centers which treat almost 80% of the country’s cancer patients. Out of these 80% of the patients are treated for free.

In addition to this Pakistan atomic energy commission (PAEC) intends to further enhance its role in medical sector so as to serve the nation and to reap the most benefit from this use of nuclear technology. Peaceful uses of nuclear technology are not limited to power generation and medical field only; in fact, nuclear technology can play its role for food safety as well. Pakistan recognizes these benefits and is working on making the most out of it. safety and developing a better crop yield.  Up till now, 89 different varieties of crops have been developed. These crop varieties are aimed at producing a better yield. In addition to this extensive work is being undertaken to defend the crops against pests. This involves work on the sterile insect technique (SIT) and Male annihilation technique (MAT). These techniques restrict the reproduction of insects and pests and as a result, contribute toward food safety. These institutes are also working on ways to enhance soil fertility. Pakistan is much more interested in the peaceful use of nuclear technology as compared to its use in weapons. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is only present to ensure the country’s survivability and Pakistan fully appreciates the responsibility that comes with maintaining a nuclear arsenal.  As a result, the security of Pakistan’s nuclear plants rivals that of global standards and is in line with IAEA standards. As Pakistan is a responsible nuclear power it realizes the importance of nonproliferation which is why after Pakistan became a nuclear power it upheld the resolve.

Pakistan nuclear CBMs approach is built on two objectives; one is the promotion of strategic stability in the region and it encompasses nuclear missile restraints. The second one is conventional balance and conflict resolution, based on which Pakistan came up with the strategic restraint regime which has been on the table for over two decades but has faced resistance from India. These objectives are based on Pakistan’s resolve for maintaining peace and stability in the region. it further backs Pakistan’s claim that it is a reluctant nuclear power which acquired nuclear status only to ensure its survival. This can be backed by the fact that Pakistan made several proposals before 1998 to keep the region nuclear free. For almost 24 years Pakistan sponsored a resolution in the United Nations for establishment of nuclear weapons free zone in South Asia. Many proposals were made but India refused them all. All the above facts clearly illustrate Pakistan intentions towards peaceful use of nuclear technology and these strengthen Pakistan’s credentials for NSG membership.




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