Pakistan’s Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology and Commitment towards Non-Proliferation

Nuclear technology is a two edged sword, that present one of the greatest threat to human kinds and at the same time also promises great benefits. Therefore, it is necessary that state‟s right to utilize nuclear technology for peaceful purposes be facilitated by the international community. As, peaceful utilization of nuclear technology can help addressing many challenges, such as food security, health, environmental protection, climate change and need for sustainable source of energy. International bodies such as IAEA were established with an aim to facilitate the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

To support the objective of non-proliferation, IAEA also ensures the setting and application of standard verification procedure require for the use and transfer of nuclear technology only for peaceful purposes. Despite many benefits of nuclear technology, the technology is secretly guarded commodity by the developed world on the basis of fear of its spread to obtain nuclear weapons and also mainly because of the reason of real-politic. Pakistan is a developing country and despite being its limited resources it has acquired a nuclear program both for security and peaceful purposes.

Pakistan initiated its nuclear program for harvesting nuclear technology for the peaceful purposes, but after the imminent security threat and wars with India, in response to India‟s nuclear program, to maintain its security Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons for the purpose of nuclear deterrence vis-à-vis India. Today, Pakistan is actively pursuing nuclear technology for the peaceful purposes in field of nuclear energy, health, agriculture and environment. But unfortunately, the focus always remains on Pakistan‟s nuclear program for military purposes. However, today Pakistan is running an effective civilian nuclear program, with stringent nuclear safety and security regime for the safety and security of its nuclear and radiological materials and facilities. Today in field of bioscience, disease control, industrial uses, medicine and energy the program is utilized in Pakistan exponentially.

In 1952 Pakistan established Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for peaceful uses of nuclear technology in country. Pakistan is a country that previously heavily relies on thermal sources of energy production, which lack sustainability put Pakistan in severe energy crisis for many years. But today, Pakistan is rapidly adopting the sustainable sources of energy production and nuclear technology is one of them. Pakistan current capacity of energy production through nuclear technology is 2332 MWe, moreover, 1100 MWe are under construction. This makes contribution of nuclear energy in Pakistan‟s total energy mix at 6% which will increase up to 12

% after the operationalization of its K-3 Nuclear power plant. Considering its growing need for energy PAEC is working on 20 years plan where it is expected that Pakistan nuclear energy target will of 8800 MWe by 2030 and 40,000 MWe by 2040.

To achieve the UN sustainable development goal (SDG) of elimination of hunger and malnutrition, Pakistan is utilizing irradiation technique to enhance the shelf life and quality of foods. PAEC is also working on techniques of food fortification, which will help in maintain nutritional value in food, in this regard 115 new varieties of crops which have better resistance and yield are created. In field of medicine, for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer Pakistan has established 19 hospitals which are utilizing nuclear technology. Pakistan is also actively engaged with IAEA for adapting the measures, procedures and regulations that enable the safe and secure use of nuclear technology. Therefore, Pakistan due to its credentials and commitment towards the goals of “Atom for peace” Pakistan has also been elected as the member of IAEA BoG for the year 2021-23. It is not the first time that Pakistan has been elected on this post previously Pakistan has been elected as member of BoG for almost 20 times.

These all activities in Pakistan are carried with its commitment towards the goal of nuclear non-proliferation. Pakistan‟s non-proliferation activities are over-arching and not only cover its military program but also civilian program. In all these years where Pakistan was many threats not a single incident of nuclear theft or sabotage has been reported in a country. Pakistan is commitment towards the goal of responsibility and restraint with regards to its nuclear civilian and military program. For ensuring the safety and security of its nuclear program (civilian and military) Pakistan has established PNRA, 2001, it has ratified the Conventional on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Facilities (CPPNM), is also following the NSAP in collaboration with IAEA, is a member of convention on early notification of nuclear accident, following resolution 1540, and adapting guidelines on Nuclear Security Summits. These all guidelines have ensured the safe and secure activities related utilization of nuclear material for not only military but also peaceful purposes in Pakistan. Furthermore, the measures are enabling peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Pakistan which is return are facilitating the socio-economic development in Pakistan.

http://southasiajournal.net/pakistans-peaceful-uses-of-nuclear-technology-and-commitment-towards-non-proliferation/