- Foreign Office says tests demonstrated Pakistan's desire to preserve strategic balance in South Asia
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday reiterated its proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime (SRR) amid threats to strategic stability in South Asia and underscored the need for resolution of outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, nuclear and missile restraints; and conventional balance.
In a statement on the eve of Yaum-e-Takbeer marking the 24th anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests conducted in 1998 in response to the testing of nuclear weapons by India, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that the tests not only demonstrated the resolve of the Pakistani nation to safeguard Pakistan’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, but also the desire to preserve strategic balance in South Asia.
He stated that Pakistan is committed to the promotion of an environment of peace and stability in South Asia, while preserving its capability to ward off aggression or adventurism in any form, adding that it is a partner in international efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime based on the principles of non-discrimination and equal security for all states. It adheres to the latest international standards on export controls and maintains the highest standards of nuclear safety and security, he added.
“Threats to strategic stability in South Asia underscore the importance of Pakistan’s proposal for Strategic Restraint Regime (SRR) which provides for measures for: (i) resolution of outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir; (ii) nuclear and missile restraints; and (iii) conventional balance,” he stated.
In paying tribute to its scientists, engineers and technicians in ensuring Pakistan’s security, he added that the nation also deeply appreciates the contributions of Pakistan’s nuclear programme to the country’s socioeconomic development.
He stated that Pakistan is employing nuclear technology in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranging from energy, water and food security, education, health, agriculture and industry.
Nuclear power generation as a source of reliable, clean and affordable alternative to fossil fuels constitutes an important element of Pakistan’s energy security plans. This year, he added that the operationalization of second 1100 MWe K-3 Nuclear Power Plant in Karachi marks another milestone, which signifies the role of nuclear science and technology for socio-economic development and welfare of the people of Pakistan.
In the health domain, he added that 20 cancer hospitals being operated across the country by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) bear the bulk of the cancer burden in Pakistan. In the field of agriculture, the contributions of nuclear research centres in Pakistan to the development of high yield climate change-resistant varieties of crops have been recognized internationally, he added.
He stated that the Pakistan Centre of Excellence in Nuclear Security (PCENS) is an IAEA-recognized Centre of Excellence imparting international trainings in nuclear security. He stated that Pakistan also offers fellowships under the IAEA Marie Curie Fellowship programme and has seconded experts to the IAEA in various fields.
“Pakistan looks forward to further expanding its international collaborations in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology and sharing its expertise with other countries including in nuclear regulatory matters,” the spokesperson added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022