Gilani holds meeting to strengthen security of nuclear plants

Last Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 23:35

Islamabad: Ahead of the Nuclear Security
Summit in Seoul, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
on Saturday held a meeting and discussed measure to strengthen the
security of the country`s nuclear power plants in light of
last year`s Fukushima disaster.

The Premier was given a detailed presentation at the
meeting by senior officials of the Strategic Plans Division,
which manages the country`s nuclear arsenal, and Pakistan`s
Ambassador to China, Masood Khan, who is the country’s chief
negotiator on nuclear security.

"The meeting dilated on initiatives to augment the
security mechanism in the light of the Fukushima incident in
Japan by adopting new technology in the mechanism," said a
statement issued by the premier`s office.

It did not give any details on how the security mechanism
would be augmented.

The premier was also briefed on the "technical dimensions
of the safety and security of Pakistan`s nuclear assets,
including the state-of-art training to personnel deputed to
ensure the security of nuclear installations".

The meeting was part of preparation for Gilani`s
participation in the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in
Seoul during March 26-28.

The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Hina
Rabbani Khar, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen
Khalid Shameem Wynne, SPD chief Lt Gen (retired) Khalid
Kidwai, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jillani and other senior
officials.

Gilani said the world had "recognized that Pakistan had
evolved excellent safety security arrangements for its nuclear
assets under the auspices of the National Command Authority".

The National Command Authority had the "full backing of
parliament because it was created by an act of parliament", he
remarked.

The premier said the Nuclear Security Summit in "Seoul
represented continuity" because he had earlier attended a
similar summit in Washington in April 2010.

"This amounted to Pakistan`s abiding commitment to its
nuclear assets as well as civilian nuclear plants` safety and
security," Gilani said.

Ambassador Masood Khan briefed Gilani from the diplomatic
viewpoint and contended that Pakistan had played a "major role
in strengthening the mechanism" of the International Atomic
Energy Agency.

He said the Seoul summit would provide an "excellent
opportunity to project Pakistan as a responsible nuclear power
state".

Pakistan has been pushing the US and other Western powers
to give it access to civilian nuclear technology on the lines
of a landmark civil nuclear deal concluded by the US and
India.

However, Western powers have been reluctant to help
Pakistan due to concerns raised by a clandestine nuclear
proliferation ring operated by A Q Khan, the scientist who
played a key role in the development of the country`s nuclear
weapons programme.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 23:35

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