WASHINGTON – Pakistan told the world leaders gathered for the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) Thursday night that it attaches great importance to strengthening global nuclear structures and “fully shares” the concern over nuclear materials falling into the wrong hands.
“Nuclear materials must never fall into the wrong hands. This is a global concern which Pakistan fully shares,” Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, who is leading Pakistan’s delegation, said at a working dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for more than 50 heads of state/prime ministers attending the summit.
In the past six years, he said, the NSS process had contributed significantly to nuclear security. “Valuable ground has been covered in strengthening nuclear security architecture worldwide through national actions and voluntary exchange of experience, expertise and best practices,” Fatemi said, adding “You can take due pride in this legacy of yours.”
“Renewed interest in nuclear energy worldwide implies more nuclear materials and facilities necessitating more preparedness,” he said in his brief remarks. “It is equally important to remain alive to the potential threat of radiological dispersal devices. This threat is not limited to states with significant nuclear programmes. Radioactive sources are being employed everywhere in the private sector, hospitals, industry and research.
“Facilities hosting such materials are often more vulnerable. There is, therefore, the need for vigilance and preparedness in all places,” Fatemi said.
“Emergency preparedness and response constitutes effective deterrence against malicious acts. This requires significant training efforts, including those by nuclear security centres developed by states.”
Fatemi told the gathering that Pakistan’s emergency response mechanism included a Nuclear Emergency Management System at the national level. A Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Support Centre and a Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Coordination Centre run round the clock, he said.
He conveyed Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s greetings to the world leaders, saying he could not attend the summit because of the terrorist attack in Lahore that took many innocent lives.
“We are grateful to you, Mr President, for your message of solidarity with Pakistan during your telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.”
Agencies add: British Prime Minister David Cameron has reiterated that the enemies of Pakistan would be viewed as enemies of Britain.
He expressed this during an unscheduled meeting on Friday with Tariq Fatemi. The British National Security Adviser, Sir Mark Lyall Grant was also present on the occasion
The British PM expressed his profound grief and heartfelt condolences at the loss of precious lives in the recent terrorist attack in Lahore.
Cameron expressed full support and solidarity with the people and the Government of Pakistan at this hour of grief, and acknowledged the sacrifices being made by people and the security forces of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.
Recalling the remarks he had made at a press conference in Islamabad during his visit to Pakistan in 2013, Cameron reiterated that the enemies of Pakistan would be viewed as enemies of Britain. He pledged Britain’s continued support in strengthening Pakistan’s economy, and enhancing bilateral cooperation in security-related matters, including intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism. He, in particular, stressed the need for further enhancing cooperation in the energy and education sectors.
Cameron appreciated the leadership and vision of PM Sharif for regional peace and stability, and acknowledged the positive contribution being made by Pakistan in this regard.
Tariq Fatemi also held a meeting with the Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi.
The Chinese FM expressed his profound sadness and deepest condolences over the loss of precious lives in recent terrorist attack in Lahore.
He underscored that Pakistan had been at the forefront of the global fight against the scourge of terrorism, and the whole world acknowledged the sacrifices made by the people and the security forces of Pakistan.
Published in The Nation newspaper on 02-Apr-2016