Pakistan’s Nuclear Program has not only ensured its national security and regional peace but also helped pursue 12 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promote socio-economic development.
Pakistan is one of only 13 countries that are effectively using nuclear technology to meet a variety of their own socio-development needs but are also capable of sharing its nuclear knowledge and expertise with other countries for peaceful purposes.
These thoughts were shared at a webinar titled ‘Youm-e-Takbeer 2020’ organized by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad to mark the 22nd anniversary of pakistan nuclear program tests that were conducted on May 28, 1998. The guest speakers include Dr Naeem Salik, Senior Fellow CISS and former director of ACDA, Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Dr Ansar Pervez, former Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), and Mr. Kamran Akhtar, Director General, Arms Control & Disarmament (ACDIS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Khalid Rahman, Executive President, IPS, chaired the event which was moderated by Syed Muhammad Ali, Senior Research Fellow, IPS. Other participants included security analyst Brig. (Retd) Said Nazeer Mohmand, Air Commodore (Retd) Khalid Iqbal, Cdr (Retd) Dr Azhar Ahmad, HoD, Humanities & Social Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad, and IPS Associate and former AJ&K Minister Ms. Farzana Yaqoob.
Kamran Akhtar, Director General Arms Control & Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the huge Indian defence acquisitions and developments in the areas of artificial intelligence, cyber security and space militarization are destabilizing for the region and the international community must exercise care and caution in sharing its advanced nuclear and other related technologies with India which is emerging as an extremist and anti-status quo State. He further emphasized that the international community has a collective responsibility to dissuade India from engaging in any misadventure as any such India step will lead to grave consequences that will not remain limited to this region but will impact the entire world.
He further stated that pakistan nuclear program can be compared with any developed country in terms of its nuclear expertise, knowledge and capabilities, and is completely qualified to become an active and productive member of the strategic export control regime of the world.
Dr Ansar Pervez, former Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) said that the nuclear technology was being used for peaceful purposes all over the world in diverse sectors including medicine, health, agriculture, industry, pollution control, water resources management, safe and sustainable electricity production. The nuclear technology, for instance, has allowed Pakistan to develop 100 new crop varieties, which have added Rs 1200 billion to our national exchequer, whereas Eight hundred thousand cancer patients are treated every year by hospitals using nuclear radiation.
Dr Naeem Salik said that Pakistan became a nuclear weapon State once its security needs were neither understood not met by the world and its several arms control initiatives were not reciprocated and expectations for security assurances were not met. Pakistan has a credible minimum deterrence posture which provides Pakistan security without engaging in a costly arms race with India.
Syed Muhammad Ali stressed that Pakistan’s strategic restraint must not be seen as a sign of weakness and any type or level of aggression against Pakistan in any domain will be swiftly and effectively responded through a quid pro quo approach. Pakistan’s nuclear programme has given security and pride to the nation and confidence to our leadership and diplomats.
The speakers maintained that the whole country is really proud of its scientists and engineers who have played the central role in the development of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
Khalid Rahman, Executive President IPS said in his concluding remarks that the unparalleled success of Pakistan’s nuclear program is an evidence that whenever the Pakistani nation and its leadership have resolved and consistently pursued any goal with strong commitment, then we can achieve it despite all hurdles and against heavy odds. This aspect of the nature of the Pakistani nation provides us with a guiding principle to follow in policymaking to address various issues of national significance as well. If we understand this principles and pursue our other national goals with similar zeal, spirit, determination, consistency and unity, then we can effectively meet all other challenges that our nation faces.