ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Saturday said the UN atomic watchdog IAEA has commended Islamabad for the safety measures it has taken in the field of nuclear security.

A delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in country since December 4, concluded its visit on Saturday and commended nuclear security measures taken by Pakistan.

The IAEA delegation, led by Head of IAEA’s Nuclear Security Division Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, was visiting the country to further strengthen the ongoing cooperation between Pakistan and IAEA in the field of nuclear security, said a statement released by the Foreign Office.

Pakistan has consistently implemented nuclear security measures recommended by the international atomic watchdog and the visit was part of IAEA-Pakistan Nuclear Security Cooperation Programme mutually agreed in 2005. The programme was extended in 2011 to include additional areas of interest.

All the activities under this programme are coordinated by the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), added FO.

During his visit, Raja Adnan visited the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) and met with senior officials of PNRA and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

“Nuclear security is a state’s responsibility and Pakistan has undertaken a range of measures to strengthen it.”

The FO further added that Islamabad not only benefits from the ongoing nuclear security cooperation but “has also been offering various services to the Agency in this area in the form of expertise and participation in different IAEA advisory groups and committees”.

Islamabad also regularly hosts various international and regional courses in collaboration with IAEA, said the FO.

Pakistan, over the last few decades, has also created a comprehensive nuclear regulatory regime encompassing physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, fissile material control and accounting, transportation security, prevention of illicit trafficking, border controls, and mechanism to deal with radiological emergencies.

At the international level, Pakistan has also fully participated with the Nuclear Security Summit process and the work of the UN’s 1540 Committee on nuclear security. It is also a party to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM), the Nuclear Safety Convention, the Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear accidents and the Conventional on assistance in case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency as well as working with the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) in relevant areas.

PIEAS IAEA

COLLABORATING CENTRE

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and top ranking Pakistani engineering university, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) have inked a cooperation agreement according to which PIEAS has been designated as IAEA Collaborating Centre to support Member States on Capacity Building, and R&D in various applications of nuclear technology and allied fields.

“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of education and training for building the capacity of member states in this field,” said IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov, at the signing ceremony at the Agency’s headquarters in Vienna. “Through this network, the Agency encourages scientific studies and cooperation across member states”, said a press release received here on Saturday.

Speaking on this occasion, Rector PIEAS Dr Nasir Majid Mirza said “We are first and foremost a university, so academics and research and development is at the heart of what we do and it will be rewarding to further build and develop capacity in nuclear technology and non-electric applications of nuclear energy and teach it to those who want to learn.”

PIEAS, being run under the aegis of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), has been emerging as a top ranked engineering university of Pakistan since 2006.

It is pertinent to mention here that according to the QS World University Rankings 2019, seven Pakistani universities made it to the prestigious annual index of global varsities and PIEAS ranked as Pakistan’s No. 1 University, carrying global position of 397.

With PIEAS being designated as the first IAEA Collaborating Centre in the country, new avenues of scientific collaboration and internationalisation will soon start bearing fruit.