Opening Remarks by Prime Minister Gilani at the National Command Authority
Islamabad: The National Command Authority is meeting at an important juncture. Several developments have taken place at the national, regional and international levels in the last months.
At the outset, I would like to express my sympathies and condolences on the loss of lives in the tragic blasts in Mumbai yesterday. Pakistan has already condemned the blasts. The President of Pakistan and I have also conveyed our deepest sympathies to the Indian leadership. Such incidents only confirm our resolve to work together for the elimination of the menace of terrorism in the region.
The recent incidents in Abbottabad and Mehran base had raised concerns on the safety and security of our strategic assets. Simultaneously, there has been a propaganda onslaught against Pakistan and its nuclear programme. Such baseless, and certainly motivated, campaign against Pakistan will neither deter us from proceeding ahead sure-footed with our strategic programme nor succeed in undermining our national will. The strategic programme forms the core of our National Security paradigm. The Pakistan Armed Forces, and in fact the whole nation, takes its responsibility for national defence as a sacred duty. No one should ever under estimate our capability and resolve in this regard.
Concerns have also been expressed internationally over potential threats from non-state actors to the security of our strategic assets and facilities. Media reports have speculated on the possibility of sabotage and existence of contingency plans to take over our nuclear assets. Any such nefarious designs shall be thwarted effectively by the armed forces with full support of the people of Pakistan. At the same time, we need to send out a message of assurance and responsibility. Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapon state and we take this responsibility seriously.
Pakistan’s strategic programme and assets are a sacred trust. They represent cumulative excellence and devotion of our scientists, engineers and professionals. Safeguarding these assets is a national duty that we shall perform with full determination and unity.
Our strategic programme is for national defence and deterrence. We have not and will never pursue an aggressive nuclear posturing or misadventure. At the same time, we will take all necessary measures to ensure the reliability and credibility of our minimum nuclear deterrence. We strongly reject policies of discrimination and selectivity, which are not inimical to Pakistan’s national interests but also do no service to the realization of non proliferation goals.
Socio-economic development of Pakistan is the top most priority of the democratic Government. Clean and sustainable energy is a key ingredient to achieve this objective. Over the years, Pakistan has developed the expertise and the infrastructure to undertake nuclear power generation projects. Recently, I inaugurated the Chashma-II power which added 325 Mega Watts to the national energy grid.
As we move towards building more reactors, as part of our nuclear power programme-2050, the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission have done commendable work in ensuring that our nuclear power plants are operating in a safe and secure manner. We would continue to adhere to the highest safety standards on the basis of global best practices.
Space science holds immense potential to contribute to the socio-economic advancement of societies and states. It is a matter of great satisfaction that Pakistan has developed a sound space faring capability. We must endeavour to bring benefits of full spectrum of space technology to the people of Pakistan. I look forward to the briefing on Pakistan’s Space Programme 2040.
Before concluding, let me underscore that global political and security trends present a number of challenges to Pakistan. Our detractors are working overtime to malign Pakistan as well as our nuclear and strategic assets. We must remain firm in our resolve to tide over these challenges. Promoting and protecting national interests of Pakistan is a sacred responsibility and we will never fail in this noble duty.
For more information, contact:
Syed Haider Ali Jafri
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 921 0335 and 9056604