WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has appreciated Pakistan’s nuclear engagement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and termed it ‘excellent’ for safeguarding its nuclear assets.
The administration’s Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a congressional hearing, “Pakistan’s Centre of Excellence have really done an excellent job to establish a programme there that is not only serving Pakistan’s interests, but is also serving on a regional basis to provide training with the help of the IAEA, and so forth.”
Gottemoeller also mentioned India stepping up to the plate.
“India is at an early stage of establishing their own Centre of Excellence for nuclear security,” she said, adding that the administration has seen quite a bit of advancement in India’s working on the Pak-India nuclear race problem in recent years.
Responding to a question, she pointed out that battlefield nuclear weapons were a security concern but it also has been made known to Pakistan that these weapons cannot bode as secure. “We have made our concerns known, and will continue to press them about what we consider to be the destabilising aspects of their battlefield nuclear weapons programme,” she said.
Senator Bob Corker commented that both countries were enlarging and improving their nuclear arsenals in an attempt to gain an upper hand but there has been “virtually no progress made to address nuclear security”.
The Obama administration is hosting a nuclear security summit later this month where Pakistan and India along with the heads of other countries are expected to participate.