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Preparing for the Nuclear Security Summit: edit in Pakistan Today, Feb 14, 2016

16 February 2016 No Comment

As the Nuclear Security Summit convened by President Obama in March draws near, the US is underlining two major concerns regarding Pakistan’s nuclear programme. The first relates to the security of nuclear weapons, the second to the possibility of a nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India. Washington believes that in both cases nuclear security in South Asia would be jeopardised. On Sunday, State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner once again underlined the US concerns.

The US has generally expressed satisfaction with Pakistan’s nuclear safety and security measures with two important provisos: the first being the possibility of a radical takeover in Pakistan and the second a diversion of material or technology by personnel within Pakistan’s nuclear complex. A congressional research service report sent to US lawmakers last month maintained this could happen in case of continued instability in the country. The failure by the government to fully implement the NAP, a perception of cherry-picking while dealing with the terrorist groups and the diversion of law enforcers’ attention from terrorists to liberal political parties in Karachi has further strengthened the apprehensions. Those who matter need to pay undivided attention to rooting out all terrorist outfits whether active or dormant through a thorough and honest implementation of the NAP. Nothing should be done by the government or the establishment that weakens the system.

The concern regarding a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan is likely to crop up at the Summit. This is by no means inconsequential as despite the bonhomie shown on both sides before, during and after the Heart of Asia Conference, the two countries remain as estranged as ever. Pakistan and India have to re-engage in meaningful talks and take necessary measures to improve ties to avoid a devastating war that would destroy much of the progress made by them over decades. The US, on its part, needs to enter into a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan like the one concluded with India in 2005 to remove the perception of discrimination. http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/02/14/comment/preparing-for-the-nuclear-security-summit/

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