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Pakistan commits to nuclear security

April 7, 2010 at 1:05 PM   |   Comments

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, April 7 (UPI) -- Islamabad is committed to acting responsibly as a nuclear weapons state, the Pakistani prime minister said ahead of a major nuclear conference in Washington.

Washington hosts more than 40 heads of state at a nuclear summit scheduled for Sunday. U.S. President Barack Obama said he would hold bilateral talks with the leaders of India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed foes.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told lawmakers Wednesday in Islamabad that as a nuclear power, the country was mindful of its responsibilities to the international community, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reports.

Pakistan tested its first nuclear weapon in 1998. It earned international condemnation when nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear program, confessed in 2004 to supplying nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

He later blamed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for the proliferation, recanting an earlier statement.

A high court in Lahore, Pakistan, in March ruled that Khan is free, though he is prohibited from talking about nuclear work.

More recently, international observers worried over the security of the Pakistani nuclear program as the country wrestled with widespread militancy.

Gilani said, however, that nuclear non-proliferation and security issues can only be realized through nondiscriminatory international cooperation.

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