SPD chief discusses nuclear diplomacy with FM

Published September 3, 2020
Lt. Gen. Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General of Strategic Plans Division (SPD) called on Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. — APP
Lt. Gen. Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General of Strategic Plans Division (SPD) called on Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Director General of the Strategic Plans Division Lt Gen Nadeem Zaki Manj called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday for a discussion on nuclear diplomacy.

The foreign minister is the deputy chairman of the Employment Control Committee of the National Command Authority which provides civilian oversight over research, development, production and use of space and nuclear technologies and related applications.

This is Gen Manj’s second publicly disclosed meeting with the top civilian leadership in the last 10 days. He had earlier on Aug 22 met Prime Minister Imran Khan for what was said to be a briefing on the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), which administers the country’s nuclear and missile programs.

The Aug 22 meeting was the first officially announced briefing for the prime minister on the SPD since he assumed office two years ago.

The Foreign Office closely liaises with the SPD on matters related to arms control and disarmament, export control regimes, nuclear confidence building measures, regional strategic stability, bilateral nuclear dialogues with key states, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and on engagement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Mr Qureshi, according to Radio Pakistan, lauded the role of the SPD.

Established in 2001, the SPD serves as the secretariat of the National Command Authority (NCA) and executes its policies. The SPD director general also serves as NCA secretary. Gen Manj took over as its director general last November.

A meeting of the NCA was reportedly convened during the post-Pulwama stand-off with India, but no statement on the session was subsequently issued. That was the only NCA meeting to have so far taken place during the PTI government’s two years.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2020

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