We are here in the United States for the coverage of the 4th Nuclear Security Summit scheduled for March 31-April 1, 2016. Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif was scheduled for attending this meeting initially but after the terror attack in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park that claimed over 70 lives on Sunday PM cancelled his visit and now the delegation is going to be led by Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi.
In a media briefing ahead of the nuclear summit, when an Indian journalist from Press Trust of India asked a loaded question about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets, he was repudiated first by Thomas M. Countryman, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, and then by Bonnie D. Jenkins, Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs.
Here is what Ambassador Jenkins had to say about Pakistan’s commitment with nuclear security.
Pakistan has been part of the Nuclear Security Summit from the very beginning and we’re very happy that they have been part of the process and part of the discussions on securing nuclear material, and we know that they take that issue seriously. I had the pleasure of being in Pakistan a couple weeks ago for – to visit their center of excellence. They also have a center of excellence. The International Atomic Energy Agency hosted a meeting there for a network that’s called the Nuclear Security Support Center Network, which is a network of centers of excellence who want to work together and learn from each other and share best practices. We had the first meeting of this network outside Vienna, where the IAEA is located, in Islamabad. And so we had a chance to visit their center of excellence. We went to their nuclear regulatory authority as well. And so we were there for a week and had very successful meetings, and it showed what they’re doing in terms of training individuals on issues of nuclear security.