Stability of Pakistan not in question

Security expert Rohan Gunaratna's comments in last Saturday's article ("Preventing nuclear terrorism slaughter") are in gross disagreement with what experts from other parts of the world acknowledge.

He was quoted as saying that the threat to Pakistan's stability is growing as American troops begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan this year.

The article went on to say that "the Taleban in Afghanistan plans to take power and then help the Pakistan Taleban to seize power in that country".

Such propaganda against Pakistan often gets an airing before or after important events such as the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

Pakistan is a major partner of the international community in the war against terrorism. Its stability is not in question as civilian peaceful transition of power took place last June and a democratic government is in power, enjoying the overwhelming support of the people.

The article contradicts objective realities on the ground.

First, Pakistan has a robust nuclear command and control authority.

Second, it has an impeccable record of safe handling of nuclear material.

Third, it is an active participant in the Nuclear Security Summit process and works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Office of Nuclear Security to promote best security practices.

Fourth, the international community, particularly the IAEA, the United States, other P5 powers and nuclear watchdogs have, from time to time, admired our safety mechanism. They have expressed full confidence and trust in our capabilities as a responsible nuclear power state.

A recent White House document acknowledged that Pakistan is engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues, and is working to ensure that its strategic export controls are in line with international standards.

Readers deserve to know where the 160 incidents of theft and illicit nuclear trafficking in 2012, as mentioned in the article, took place - and these were certainly not in Pakistan!

Mubashar Tauqir Shah

Press Counsellor

High Commission for Pakistan

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