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HomeEditorialPakistan's NSG membership bid has all the required merits

Pakistan’s NSG membership bid has all the required merits

Pakistan maintains the stance that it is a responsible nuclear power and that it has always remained committed to the peaceful use of nuclear technology while ensuring adequate security of its nuclear facilities both civil and military. Despite much criticism and false alarms raised by the international community regarding the security of Pakistan nuclear arsenal and its civil nuclear establishments, Pakistan has always managed to keep its nuclear program safe, without any doubt. Pakistan nuclear weapons have been developed to maintain stability in the region and to counteract any imbalance in regional power. 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’s commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear technology and to the matter of its security was informed by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Muhammad Naeem, while addressing the 61st Annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria. He reiterated that Pakistan is aware of its responsibility in the matter of nuclear security, as a result this matter is given the highest importance in the national construct of the country. Mr. Naeem Further established that Pakistan had developed a purpose-raised standalone, specially trained, and equipped, nuclear security force with land, air and seaborne component. Mr. Naeem highlighted that Pakistan’s commitment to ensure safe and transparent safe operation of nuclear facilities is evident from the initiative of setting up Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), in 2001 which is an autonomous body operating with complete independence from the operators and its regulations are based on the safety standards of the IAEA. In addition to this PAEC chairman informed that Pakistan’s Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Security (PCENS), had been made fully operational and the PCENS and the IAEA collaboration had also increased over the years. Further to this, the PAEC chairman highlighted that the National Institute of Safety and Security (NISAS) and the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), contributions in terms of education and training in various disciplines at both national and international levels, are quite commendable. At the end he further emphasized that Pakistan remains committed to operate its nuclear power facilitates under the safeguards of the IAEA. That makes Pakistan’s case stronger for the membership of Nuclear Suppliers’ group.

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