Islamabad, Sep 8 : Describing Pakistan as a “responsible” nuclear state, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has said the country’s nuclear assets are “safe” and it qualifies for NSG membership. Addressing a conference on “Assessing South Asia`s Nuclear Security” organised by Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS) here, Chaudhry said, people of Pakistan are the owners of Pakistan`s nuclear programne which is meant only for its defence as a sovereign nation.

“Pakistan has always voiced its desire for strategic stability and urges all regional partners to utilise resources for economic development instead of furthering nuclearisation in the region that in turn usher insecurity in the region,” he said. Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and its nuclear assets are safe and regularised by an autonomous body which is Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Radio Pakistan quoted him as saying. He said Pakistan qualifies for the membership for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and has mobilised the member countries for supporting the cause. (ALSO READ: Nawaz Sharif wrote to 17 countries against India’s NSG membership: Aziz)

The Foreign Secretary hoped that political and commercial motives will not hinder Pakistan?s membership for the NSG. Chaudhry said Pakistan has urged the international community and particularly the United States to shun discriminatory practices in the context of nuclear and defence ties as it jeopardizes the stability of whole region.

“Credible minimum deterrence remains our principle and as a sovereign country we take every step for the defence of our motherland if any strategic partnership or alliance threats our security and regional stability,” he said. Referring to recent US-India defence deal, he said we have no comments for the bilateral relations of any country if “these do not undermine our security and stability of the region.”

He said Pakistan is a staunch advocate of nuclear non- proliferation at international level and believes in amicable solution of all disputes. In the context of India and Pakistan bilateral relations, he said both countries need to bolster the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to reach pragmatic solutions for their long standing disputes. He said dialogue is the only way possible to keep the relations at a positive trajectory.