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.


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

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