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Pakistan’s Focus on Peaceful Use of Nuke Technology

Pakistan is said to have made remarkable achievements in exploring nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Example: “Nuclear power as a cheaper alternative; Nuclear technology’s role in agriculture; Achievements in the field of medicine; Improvements in the employment sector,” a recent article highlights.

Written by Tooba Ghaffar, a research associate at Islamabad-based think tank “Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS), the article says the country has made considerable progress in civilian use of nuclear technology. “It has also employed nuclear energy for industrial uses, biotechnology and disease control”.

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These achievements are, however, often overlooked in the context of sensitive security environment of South Asia, which keeps local and international analysts preoccupied with the military component of the nuclear program, it says.

In most nuclear discourses, where Pakistan’s nuclear weapon program is highlighted, it often carries “red to amber” broad strokes on Pakistan’s nuclear usage and activities –the article highlights this.

That “may be more or less a sunset view”, says an observer.

The country now has five fully functional power plants using nuclear technology. One is in Karachi (Sindh) and four in Chashma (Punjab). Two more nuclear power plants, K-2 and K-3 are under construction in Karachi, while three are planned for future – one in Chashma and two in Muzaffargarh (Azad Kashmir).

It plans to produce at least 40,000 MW electricity from nuclear energy by 2050.

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The op-ed posits that Pakistan can benefit greatly from the global nuclear commerce and should be given open access to it based on its remarkable achievements in exploring nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, while ensuring safety and security of its nuclear infrastructure.

“The perception of atom as a source of destruction for the mankind is incorrect”. True. It’s a dual use source definitely, and can bring many benefits if harnessed for peaceful use.

“Pakistan has demonstrated its commitment to using nuclear technology for socioeconomic development and progress, something for which it has not been given enough credit,” says the author.

Pakistan’s efforts to seek open access to global nuclear commerce remains on the backburner.

Meanwhile, the Global Nuclear Control Regime(s) are being undermined by their very originators, the Pakistani analyst points out.

In his view, the “West will not allow us any space in nuclear field, specially with growing Indo-US strategic partnership”.

Therefore, “With growing Chinese sphere of influence and technological prowess, we will find enough space and technological support to do, whatever we want,” he adds.

A Pakistani film (a military action-romance film “Parwaaz Hai Junoon”) will hit Chinese cinemas for the first time in more than 40 years this November, as the two “iron brothers” seek to bolster relations.