Friday, March 24, 2023

US ‘confident’ Pakistan’s nuclear assets are secure


WASHINGTON: The United States (US) on Sunday expressed confidence into Pakistan’s security system for its nuclear programme despite the ‘political and economic instability’, ARY News reported.

The confidence was expressed by General Michael Corella, the commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), during a hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee.

General Michael Corella was asked about security of Pakistan’s nuclear programme in view of the country’s current economic and political situation.

Responding to the query, the US commander said that he was confident of Pakistan’s security system for its nuclear programme. “The country was currently facing political instability, economic crises and budget issues,” he noted.

The US commander also pointed out that the country was also facing challenge of terrorism, saying that terror activities have increased after a ceasefire with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended.

He maintained that he oversees military relations with Pakistan, adding that he has ‘excellent relations’ with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir.

It is pertinent to mention here that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General (DG) Rafael Mariano Grossi visited Pakistan in February to discuss matters related to the Pakistan-IAEA collaboration. This was Grossi’s maiden visit to Pakistan after assuming office in 2019.

Read More: ‘Pakistan nuclear, missile programme totally secure, foolproof’

During his stay, IAEA chief Grossi called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, wherein cooperation between the agency and Pakistan in several areas — health, agriculture, industry, nuclear medicine and power generation — was discussed.

Addressing a seminar, Rafael Mariano Grossi lauded Pakistan’s nuclear power plants safety, terming the safety measures at plants as world-class.

The IAEA chief said Pakistan’s capacity in establishing new nuclear power plants indicates a promising future for nuclear energy and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

Rafael Mariano Grossi acknowledges Pakistan’s technical and engineering capacity for new nuclear power plants including Small Modular Reactors. Lauding Pakistan’s nuclear safety, Rafael Mariano Grossi termed safety measures at nuclear plants as “world class”.


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