Pak`s nuclear arsenal is in `safe hands`: Gilani
Last Updated: Saturday, April 10, 2010, 17:56
  
Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday assured the world community that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is in "safe hands" as he embarked on a visit to the US to attend the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by President Barack Obama.

"I assure the world, I assure the people of Pakistan that the nuclear capability, the nuclear programme is in safe hands," Gilani told reporters at the Chaklala military airbase in Rawalpindi before boarding a special flight to the US.

Noting that the summit had been convened as the world has concerns about nuclear safety, Gilani said Pakistan's "nuclear programme is in experienced hands and we have experience of over 30 years".

He said he has the entire nation's support on nuclear issues and that he had briefed the national security committee of parliament about his participation in the summit.

The parliamentary panel had "totally endorsed" the government's stance on nuclear issues.

Gilani will also hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.

Asked if he would also meet his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, Gilani said a meeting has not yet been scheduled.

The premier's participation in the Nuclear Security Summit will be his first engagement in an international forum dealing with nuclear issues after he assumed the chairmanship of the National Command Authority, the body that controls Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

The summit is aimed at evolving consensus on securing nuclear facilities and materials around the globe. Gilani's delegation includes Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The Prime Minister was seen off at the Chaklala airbase by members of the federal cabinet, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Tariq Majid and the three service chiefs.

Before his departure, Gilani held consultations yesterday with Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to prepare for the Summit.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, April 10, 2010, 17:56


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