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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s nuclear programme was launched for peaceful purposes but national security issues forced the country to build nuclear weapons, former nuclear scientist and the chairman of the Underground Gasification Project at the Thar Coal Field, Dr Samar Mubarakmand, said on Tuesday.

Dr Mubarakmand was speaking at a seminar titled ‘Civilian Uses for Nuclear Energy in Pakistan: Opportunities and Prospects’, organised by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).

Although the seminar was supposed to focus on nuclear energy, the discussion revolved mostly around nuclear weapons and nuclear material.

Dr Mubarakmand said Pakistan’s nuclear programme was always peaceful, and there have been various peaceful applications of nuclear technology such as the establishment of several nuclear medical centres, agricultural research centres and the radioactive tracers used by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to build the Mangi Dam in Balochistan.

Because Pakistan is not a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, he said it was impossible for the country to receive simple technology, and this was possible because of Pakistani scientists who despite heavy sanctions made Pakistan a nuclear state.

“The relaxation of bans by members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) with respect to India as a special dispensation in 2008 under US lobbying, and the current efforts to make India a member of the NSG is an example of the biased Western psyche and mindset,” he claimed.

Defending Pakistan against allegations of helping Iran and Libya build nuclear weapons, he said both those countries remain non-nuclear states.

“The world can see that Pakistan’s civilian nuclear programme is not being used for military purposes. No theft of nuclear material has ever taken place in Pakistan. We need to survive in the subcontinent with dignity and, being a smaller state, Pakistan restored the balance of power by conducting nuclear tests after India,” he said.

Strategic Vision Institute Executive Director Prof Zafar Iqbal Cheema said the treatment given to India by the West is evidence that politics prevails over rules.

“India was trying to make nuclear weapons since 1959, but India is considered a country with a good track record and Pakistan is considered a country that cannot be trusted. However, it is a fact that the quality, capacity and safety of Pakistani nuclear weapons are better compared to India’s,” he claimed.

Prof Cheema endorsed a statement by the Senate chairman, where he claimed that Pakistan was denied nuclear energy because it is a Muslim country.

National Defence University assistant professor Dr Rizwana Karim Abbasi, however, did speak about nuclear energy. She said the demand has increased since the 1990s, and nuclear energy could fill the demand for energy.

“Greenhouse gases have to be cut by 70pc by 2050 so the world will definitely move towards nuclear energy, which is cheaper and environment-friendly. China is producing 19,000MW of electricity through nuclear energy. India and 31 other countries are also going for it,” she said.

“Although incidents of atomic reactor accidents in Germany and Japan have led to resistance to nuclear energy in the West, it is still believed that nuclear energy should be used,” she added.

Dr Abbasi said fossil fuels increase environmental pollution so the world needs to depend more on nuclear power, and safety standards have to be improved.

“Pakistan needs to secure its membership in the NSG, and it should make more nuclear power plants to make more energy,” she said. The former chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Pervez Butt, said Pakistan has been considering producing 8,835MW electricity through nuclear energy by 2030, which will meet 5 to 8pc of the total requirement.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2016

Comments (56) Closed

logic Dec 28, 2016 10:19am

its pure appeasement to local audience! Nothing wrong

N.Sid Dec 28, 2016 11:14am

@logic Check this Harvard Kennedy report. Separates facts from fiction.

Reachme Dec 28, 2016 12:34pm

Very true!

Sarwar, USA. Dec 28, 2016 12:50pm

Well done Pakistan. Keep up the good work. For peace and security.

Zak Dec 28, 2016 12:53pm

However, it is a fact that the quality, capacity and safety of Pakistani nuclear weapons are better compared to India’s,” he claimed.

Wrong, Our nuclear technology is the far superior than even the US,China,France or Russia and the world's safest .

Mandy Dec 28, 2016 12:56pm

This will not fulfill the basic needs of people of Pakistan.

Vikas Dec 28, 2016 01:05pm

I have not known a person who doesn't think he/she is the most responsible and mature and more intelligent than their enemy. What's there in saying I am more intelligent and mature and hard working than Bill Gates so I should be the richest man on earth.

Ramsay Bolton: Our blades are sharp. Dec 28, 2016 01:29pm

@N.Sid : Better read the whole article.

MAk Dec 28, 2016 01:43pm

@Zak. It is this unfounded superiority complex that has led to many a loss...infact all were lost!

AJ Dec 28, 2016 01:39pm

'No theft of Nuclear material has ever taken place in Pakistan' except stealing Nuclear technology itself

Pak-Kiwi Dec 28, 2016 01:49pm

Please produce more home grown scientist and spend money on Education, if you want to meet challenges of National Security and economy. We need lot of research and development in every field.

nitin Dec 28, 2016 02:01pm

@Zak totally agree with you .

MAk Dec 28, 2016 02:07pm

@N.Sid. The report is actually very different to what the headline suggests.

bharat Dec 28, 2016 02:11pm

true perhaps But definitely not the foreign minister

akram Dec 28, 2016 02:18pm

it is wrong to suggest Pakistan should spend it capital on pursuing nuclear energy, energy from water dams is the cheapest electricity. Therefore although nuclear will always be a part of the mix, Hydroelectric power remains the best solution for Pakistan's electric needs. and there is no chance of a Fukushima type incident for Hydro power.

akram Dec 28, 2016 02:22pm

@AJ and how do you think the Russians and indians got hold of it? everyone does it.

MJ Khan Dec 28, 2016 02:21pm

Pakistani awaam knows this already. Tell this to international community insted.

RAVEENDRA NATH Dec 28, 2016 02:25pm

@Zak - as usual you are right on spot.

Friend Dec 28, 2016 02:53pm

@Mareez Pakistan has self-proclaimed better standard

Shahid Dec 28, 2016 02:57pm

@akram Nuclear scientists and technologists will promote dual use - peaceful and otherwise - nuclear technology b/c that is theiur domain of expertise. One expert who advanced merits of constructing Kalabagh dam on technical grounds had to resign from his job. For efficient mix of these complementary technological resources, a collective national approach has to be there instead of undue and unnecessary bickering of some provinces. Otherwise growing energy needs can never be met.

A Shah Dec 28, 2016 03:02pm

Pakistan must build more missles.

Pakistani Dec 28, 2016 03:28pm

@MAk @LOGIC Check these reports...shows how bad the security situation in Indian civilian nuclear power plants. India has more than 4 reported leaks and incidents, Pakistan has none so far...proves the point.

Pakistani Dec 28, 2016 03:31pm

@logic Here are some more reports about accidents in Indian nuclear power plants...

Stephen Dec 28, 2016 04:17pm

Why India accepted as a member of NSG because India developing their own nuclear power plants. India all nuclear power plants are heavy water reactor power plants that generate plutonium. India sell their plutonium material to other countries too.

Numbersnumbers Dec 28, 2016 05:01pm

@Stephen AND Of course @Stephen can tell us which countries India has sold plutonium to??? NOT!

Vague Buster Dec 28, 2016 05:02pm

NSG program is not based on merit, America will favor India and oppose Pakistan no matter how good Pakistan is as far the quality is concerned.

malik humayoun Dec 28, 2016 05:14pm

Excellent Job, Pakistan Zindabad

Vivaan SINGH Dec 28, 2016 05:57pm

Very great news for pakistan

Dr. SalariA, Aamir Ahmad Dec 28, 2016 06:11pm

Only time will test and tell.

1971 decmbermber16 Dec 28, 2016 06:26pm

Pakistan zindabad.

khanm Dec 28, 2016 06:40pm

Nuclear weapons and peace together is like nitro plus glycerin... wrong combination they never mix or jive no matter whosoever say so ...good luck

Hasnain Dec 28, 2016 06:46pm

Pakistan should continue perusing their interest don't bother about enemies do your own research and continue develop your own technology don't look for help.

Pakistan you always proved best, you can do it.

INDIAN view Dec 28, 2016 06:43pm

I fully agree regarding safety measures and also appreciate that like India , Pakistan too has to solve energy shortage. If late but Pakistan will get NSG Membership if put up more aggressive manner.

Khan Dec 28, 2016 06:51pm

@logic why is it bothering you?

tatvavetta Dec 28, 2016 07:43pm

Congratulations Pakistan for building better quality nuclear weapons,

TBH Dec 28, 2016 09:44pm

@N.Sid but when it comes to say NSG membership what will matter most is proliferation record. Safety can be improved but past proliferation records cannot

TBH Dec 28, 2016 09:44pm

@N.Sid but when it comes to say NSG membership what will matter most is proliferation record. Safety can be improved but past proliferation records cannot

onlineshenanigans Dec 29, 2016 03:01am

@Mandy youll get over it.

MK Dec 29, 2016 07:28am

What's the point of building weapons that will likely never be used, and are not necessary at all? India and Pakistan both. It's 2016 people. Learn from world history and move past this. As for nuclear energy, I think other renewable sources are a better alternative for the region.

Wondering Dec 29, 2016 03:33pm

@Zak Brilliant post.

Shiraz Dec 29, 2016 05:40pm

@Vikas - like Modi whose entry was banned in USA,

Vikas Dec 29, 2016 07:12pm

@Shiraz It WAS banned not IS. That is how the world changes my friend on interests. Pakistan needs to adapt to the changing environment of today's time. Where it is no more the realm of a security paradigm but of economic. Saying for what you believe is just (which by the way no one else does) and then expect justice on your terms doesn't happen. No one cares a hoot for even a supposedly just belief. The sooner any country learns that the sooner it is a player.

arti Dec 29, 2016 07:19pm

@Shiraz You are 100% correct but do not forget that time has changed. Modi is one world most powerful and respected person on earth. US has realised that it has made a mistake and is already red-carpeting him.

sukhera Dec 29, 2016 07:34pm

@MK.The point is Pakistan is free and independent today because it has achieved the nuclear capability against all odds. As everyone knows that we did not start the nuclear race in the sub continent. India was first to explode a nuclear device.There have been many skirmishes including Kargil on the border with India since India has more than five times conventional forces than Pakistan but it never reached the boiling point of open war. What kept India at bay was the Pakistan's nuclear deterrent which is intended to deter other states through the promise of retaliation and possibly mutually assured destruction (MAD). Pakistan has no plans to use nuclear weapons to attack any country but if country's integrity is at stake we will never hesitate to safeguard our country with every weapon at our disposal.The father of Pakistan's nuclear program Dr Abdul Qadeer cried for days when Pakistan lost its east wing due to Indian intervention. A true patriot and my hero, U are always in my Duas.

P.Mishra Dec 29, 2016 09:03pm

Why compare with India always? Pakistan should try to be better than the best in the world.

Simba Dec 29, 2016 09:07pm

@arti I agree with you. India is respected today because of its stature in global arena. Modi is in the Forbes 10 because he is a go getter and visionary

Mustafa R. Dec 29, 2016 09:40pm

@Vague Buster;

'NSG program is not based on merit'

Of course not! but civilized countries like China and Turkey would ensure that this lack of merit is applied equally to Pakistan and India.

Tayyab Dec 30, 2016 02:57am

We need cheep and environment friendly energy like this so go for it.

Joe Dec 30, 2016 05:54am

Prof Cheem Sir it is not what we think we are it is important to accept what world thinks about us.Thete has to to be some truth in what world thinks of Pakistan .

Dave Dec 30, 2016 06:23am

@Zak How does it help common citizen?

Amon Dec 30, 2016 11:24am

@A Shah Feed the starving Pakistanis first,educated them also

TheotherZak Dec 30, 2016 11:48am

@ZAK, absolutely brother.....You are right!! Imagine where we will be once CPEC gets completed....We will rule the worls

s.d Dec 31, 2016 10:13am

@TheotherZak Total worth of Bill gate is 75 billion US dollar and with an investment of 45 billion US dollar in CPEC you want to rule the world. It is just like day dreaming of opium eaters.

Fahad Faisal Dec 31, 2016 11:05am

....and, how do you know that?

Shawn Dec 31, 2016 11:49am

@Mandy it will if we have more power

shujaat hussain Dec 31, 2016 03:29pm

yeah 2200 percent correct @Vikas