Pakistan won’t sign NPT

Washington, June 3 (IANS) Pakistan has said it won’t sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) because it considers it discriminatory.

“It is a discriminatory treaty. Pakistan has the right to defend itself, so Pakistan will not sign the NPT. Why should we?” the Dawn on Wednesday quoted Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry as saying.

He was asked whether Islamabad would sign the NPT if the US asked it to.

Already, 190 states have signed the treaty, which came into force in 1970. But nuclear states India and Pakistan have stayed out of it.

US Under Secretary of State Rose Eilene Gottemoeller has in the past spoken about steps Pakistan has taken to protect its nuclear facilities.

“They have agreed to establish their regional training centre on nuclear security matters as an asset for the International Atomic Energy Agency in the regional context, to provide training courses for regional partners,” she said.

Chaudhry, asked to underline the steps Pakistan had taken to protect its nuclear assets, said: “We have established a multi-layer system and a strong command and control system.”

He rejected the suggestion that Pakistan should focus on other energy sources such as hydel. He said the safest approach was having a mixed bag of energy options, from hydel to nuclear.

He explained that by 2030 Pakistan planned to generate 162,000 MW of electricity, and nuclear energy would be a small fraction of this total.

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