Jun 12, 2007

US, Russia hail Pakistan's move to combat nuclear terror

WASHINGTON: The United States welcomed Monday Pakistan's decision to join a global program led by Washington and Moscow to combat nuclear terrorism.

Islambad on Saturday announced its intention to join the the "Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism" although its participation would reportedly not cover the country's military nuclear program and installations.

About 50 countries are involved in the joint initiative launched by US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin last July.

"The United States and Russia welcome the decision of the government of Pakistan to become a partner nation of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism," a statement from the US State Department said.

It added that at the most recent meeting of the group in Ankara, Turkey, in February, member states "emphasized the importance of increasing partnership and participation by nations committed to combating nuclear terrorism."

Pakistan, like its nuclear archrival India, is not a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Islamabad's decision to join the global initiative comes amid concerns that a Pakistani nuclear smuggling network reportedly crippled three years ago could resume business amid strong demand for atomic technology from governments and terrorist groups.

Although the United States had declared that the network led by disgraced Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan had been rolled up, only a few of the 40 individuals identified as having worked with him are in prison, said a report last month by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

From: Defence Talk

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