By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan can be compared with any developed country in terms of its nuclear expertise, knowledge and capabilities, and is completely qualified to become an active and productive member of the strategic export control regime of the world.
This was stated by senior officials and experts including Kamran Akhtar, Director General, Arms Control & Disarmament (ACDIS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Ansar Pervez, former Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Dr Naeem Salik, former director of Arms Control & Disarmament Affairs (ACDA), Strategic Plans Division (SPD) at a webinar organized by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on Friday to mark the 22nd anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests.
They were of the unanimous view that Pakistan is one of only 13 countries in the world that are effectively using nuclear technology to meet a variety of their own socio-development needs but are also capable of sharing its nuclear knowledge and expertise with other countries for peaceful purposes. They also commended the role of research institutions like Pakistan
Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS) in this regard.
One of the most remarkable achievements in the nuclear technology field in Pakistan’s agriculture, they said, was the development of more than 100 new crop varieties, which has added approximately Rs1200 billion to our national exchequer so far.
Whereas, eight hundred thousand cancer patients are treated every year by hospitals using nuclear medicine. The experts informed that nuclear technology in the country is being used for peaceful purposes in diverse sectors including medicine, agriculture, industry, pollution control, water resources management, safe and sustainable electricity production, etc.
The speakers claimed that Pakistan’s nuclear programme has not only ensured its national security and regional peace but also helped pursue 12 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promote socio-economic development. The speakers maintained that the whole country is really proud of its nuclear scientists and engineers who have played the central role in the development of Pakistan’s nuclear programme. Khalid Rahman, Executive President of IPS, chaired the event which was moderated by IPS’ Senior Research Fellow Syed Muhammad Ali.