ISLAMABAD (APP) Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Saturday reiterated his governments determination to keep the countrys nuclear programme on top of its priorities. Speaking to engineers and scientists of Khushab Nuclear Complex, the Prime Minister said it is appreciable that Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) completed its projects without any foreign assistance. He expressed the belief that future projects would also be completed in time according to international standards. He appreciated the hard work and capabilities of the engineers and scientists, which made the countrys defence impregnable. The peaceful use of nuclear technology helped in resolving the energy issue and made the country move forward on the path of economic progress, he added. He said progress in the nuclear field is not only important for the defence and integrity of Pakistan but its positive effects play an important role in economic progress and national prosperity. Gilani said the defence and preservation of integrity of Pakistan is a sacred and difficult responsibility and armed forces cannot fulfil this duty on their own. To achieve this goal, the support and full participation of Pakistani people in general and the scientific community in particular is very essential, he added. The Prime Minister pointed out that Pakistans defence policy was based on the well-established basic principle of credible minimum deterrence. He expressed the hope that keeping in view the circumstances in the region and demands of the time, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission will keep meeting the defence needs of the country. He commended PAEC for its efforts to not only make defence of Pakistan invincible but for performing a vital role in development of energy, agriculture, biotechnology and health sectors. He mentioned that despite the fact that Pakistan was a developing country majority of whose population is deprived of basic facilities, the nation gave every sacrifice to pay for the expenditure incurred on the defence and nuclear programme. He was hopeful that PAEC would best utilise the limited resources to initiate projects in agriculture, energy and health sectors. Gilani stated that all previous governments of Pakistan continuously patronised the nuclear programme by making valuable investment in it. The present government also completely supports the programme and believes that it is a critical component in the defence of the country, he added. The prime minister recalled that PPP government led by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto started Pakistans nuclear programme in 1972 and then every government of PPP played its role in sustaining it. He announced one-month bonus pay for all the employees working on the project.