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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