- Foreign secretary heading US to attend Pak-US strategic dialogue on nuclear safety
Foreign Affairs Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry would leave on May 29 for a weeklong trip to the United States to attend a follow-up meeting of the strategic dialogue between both the countries’ subgroup on defence cooperation.
An official source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Pakistan Today that the foreign secretary will hold meetings between the working groups on nuclear safety and security and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
“The meetings will start in Washington on May 31 and continue till June 5,” the official said.
The last meetings, headed by Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz and US State Secretary John Kerry, regarding the strategic dialogue between Pakistan and United States were held in Islamabad in January last.
Chaudhry would also be accompanied by Air Commodore (r) Khalid Buneri, senior officials of the Strategic Planning Division (SPD) and other relevant departments, he said, adding that since Chaudhry has been involved with the SPD, his presence would add credence to the dialogue.
Asked if Chaudhry was likely to hold meetings with the US officials on the sidelines, the official said that both the countries were reviewing the possibility.
The visit is crucial in wake of recent claim by Islamic State (IS) that they were planning to purchase a nuclear weapon from the corrupt elements in the region “within a year”.
Pakistani officials however ridicule such claims, terming it to be a part of “vicious plan” to point fingers about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
“Pakistan is one of the top nuclear states who have installed infallible and most modern protocols and safety measures to secure its nuclear arsenal and a special authority has been put in place to ensure security of the nukes, which works under the supervision of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Rashad Mahmood,” an official said.