UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan has urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to strengthen nuclear safety and to develop into an impartial, efficient and professional body - not just a 'nuclear watchdog In evolving a strengthened nuclear safety regime, it would be essential to take into account the differentiated nature of countries needs and circumstances, Raza Bashir Tarar, the acting Pakistan permanent representative to the UN, said while participating in the General Assemblys debate on the annual report of the Vienna-based IAEA. It would be important for the Agency to be seen as an impartial, efficient and professional body - not just a 'nuclear watchdog in fulfilling its crucial role of promoting peaceful use of nuclear energy and advancing socio-economic development, Tarar said. The UN-affiliated organisations role has become even more important in an increasingly complex and challenging international environment, with the fast growing global energy demands, shortage of fossil fuel reserves and the diverse challenges of safety and security concerns, Tarar said. The Assemblys recent high-level meeting on nuclear safety and security had served to focus international attention on the important issues of nuclear safety, and the adoption of a Nuclear Safety Plan of Action, was both 'timely and useful, he said. Pakistan fully supported the Agencys role in evaluating and institutionalising the lessons learned from Japans Fukushima accident. Pakistan, for its part, had begun a comprehensive review of the existing power plants, and would bring about modifications if necessary, Tarar told the 193-member Assembly. Tarar said that the IAEA, with its global leading role in evolving guidelines, recommendations, codes, and guidance documents in the area of nuclear security, has put duplicate and overlapping efforts on nuclear security related activities. It would be counterproductive, both financially and politically, to duplicate nuclear security related activities, particularly in the design and development of parallel guidelines, recommendations, standards and guidance documents in various areas related to nuclear security, Tarar said. Policies and practices, based on commercial and political considerations, have eroded the sanctity of long-standing norms and legal instruments that underpin the non-proliferation regime, he said. Pakistan believes in an equitable, non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach to advance the universally shared goals of non-proliferation and promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Tarar said. Pakistan is now actively engaged in the applications of nuclear technology for the socio-economic development that include areas such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, agriculture, food preservation, water management, industry and generation of electrical power, Tarar said. The country will continue to apply safety review of nuclear energy facilities as it expands its nuclear capacities in public sectors, he said. We also hope that considerations of nuclear safety and nuclear security would facilitate, not hinder, the pursuit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy for advancing the development agenda and offsetting environmental degradation, Tarar said.