WASHINGTON, April 14 (APP) - Pakistan’s participation in the Nuclear Security Summit and international confidence in the safety of Pakistani custodial controls has given a boost to the legitimacy of the country’s nuclear programme, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said.The Pakistani leader, who also had a meeting with the United States President Barack Obama, described his visit to Washington as successful. “Pakistan’s participation in the Summit itself brings (a higher degree of) legitimacy to our nuclear program,” Gilani told Pakistani journaists at the conclusion of the conference. He said the negative impressions aired by critics of Pakistan’s program were effectively quashed when President Obama voiced his administration’s firm confidence in the safety of our nuclear safeguards.
“Our nuclear program is in safe hands and President Obama is totally
convinced that our command and control system is undoubtedly
effective,” said the Prime Minister, who was flanked by Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Islamabad’s ambassador in Washington
Husain Haqqani. Gilani, who spelled out Pakistan’s position on
nuclear security issues in two interventions, noted that of some 47
nations represented at the summit “not even a single head of state or
government raised concers about Pakistan’s nuclear program which is a
great victory for Pakistan.” “When President Obama himself has answered
the question and stating our program is in safe hands, we could not
have expected more,” the premier stated.
“I think by and large the visit was very succesful,” Gilani said.
Islamabad, he said, effectively communicated its point of view at the
summit, where Pakistan urgd a non-discriminatory approach to civil
nuclear cooperation and sought civil nuclear technology deal from the
United States. On Pakistan-US relations, the prime minister said there
has been improvement and that both countries would build on the
strategic dialogue held last month and follow it with cooperation in
President Obama will visit Pakistan at mutually convenient dates. “I
see a definite change in Pakistan-US relations,” which is moving beyond
security cooperation in the fight against terrorism and will now cover
many areas of cooperation.
Responding a question about his informal meeting with Indian Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, the Pakistani leader said he met him in a
Continuing, he said, the international community and the United States
are cognizant that Pakistan has an “extremely important” role in
dealing with current challenge of violent extremism. “Our friends
realize that Pakistan is working in the interest of peace and security
in the world and want to see improvement in Pakistan-India relaitons so
that the focus is maintained on the fight against terrorism on the
western border (with Afghanistan).” The focus in the region should also
be on fighting poverty, hunger and disease, he said.