The speakers at a roundtable held here on Wednesday discussed the potential for civil nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and Russia.
Pakistan’s eligibility, application and entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was also debated.
The roundtable on the “Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation: Nuclear Suppliers Group” was organized by the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) hosting the two member Russian delegation headed by the Director, Centre for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS), Dr Anton Khlopkov and Dmitry Konukhov, at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) on Wednesday.
The discussion, widely attended by prominent policy makers, national legislators, practitioners and experts from various institutions including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PNRA and PAEC was chaired by the former Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Ansar Parvez; speakers for the event were Dr Anton Khlopkov, (CENESS), Russian Federation, and former ambassador Zamir Akram, Pakistan’s former Representative to the United Nations and Geneva.
Senator Sehar Kamran (TI), President, CPGS, in her welcome remarks, stated that Pakistan has an advanced nuclear program.
She said “Pakistan has the experience, expertise, credentials and immense untapped market potential, in addition to the manpower, infrastructure and ability necessary to supply NSG controlled items.”
Pakistan possesses every quality to render it an invaluable addition to the group, she added.
She further said, Pakistan has also made modest contributions to IAEA’s activities by sharing its experience and providing services of experts in diverse technical areas such as nuclear radiation, transport and waste safety, nuclear security, application of nuclear technology in agriculture, medicine, industry and nuclear energy.
Participants opined that the real responsibility of maintaining regional stability falls on the United States since the policy of skewed support for “partners” is based around a strategy to contain China.
On principle, if an exemption can be made for India, it can certainly be made for Pakistan, they added. -PR