Pak PM to seek non-discriminatory access to N-tech

Yousuf Raza Gilani will attend Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul along with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will call for Pakistan to be given "non-discriminatory access" to nuclear technology for peaceful uses, including power generation, at the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Seoul next week.

Gilani, who will attend the Summit in Seoul along with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, will be among the lead speakers at an inaugural dinner being hosted by the South Korean President for heads of state and government participating in the meet.

"The Prime Minister will make a strong case for non-discriminatory access to nuclear technology for peaceful uses, including nuclear power generation, to meet our growing energy and development needs," said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Friday.

Gilani will also "apprise the world leaders on the measures implemented by Pakistan to strengthen the safety and security of nuclear installations and materials".

The Foreign Office statement noted that Pakistan has four decades of experience of "safe and secure operation of nuclear power plants, a highly trained manpower and a well-established safety and security culture".

It contended that Pakistan "fully qualifies to become a member of the Nuclear Supplier`s Group and other export control regimes on non-discriminatory basis".

Over the past few years, Pakistan has been pushing Western powers, including the US, for a civil nuclear deal similar to the landmark arrangement concluded by India and the US.

The US and other countries have ruled out such a deal, largely due to concerns about the clandestine proliferation ring that was operated by nuclear scientist AQ Khan. The demand for a civil nuclear deal was among 40 recommendations made by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security for revamping ties with the US and Pakistan`s overall foreign policy.

The parliamentary panel claimed the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement had "significantly altered strategic balance in the region" and said in its recommendations.

"Therefore, Pakistan should seek from the US and others a similar treatment/facility".

The Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul is a follow-up to a meet held in Washington in April 2010. Leaders from 53 countries and heads of four international organisations will attend the meet.

The Summit is aimed at promoting nuclear security through national actions and international cooperation on a voluntary basis.

On the sidelines of the Summit, Prime Minster Gilani will hold bilateral meetings with his South Korean counterpart and other world leaders.