Visiting Pakistani prime minister’s special envoy Zamir Akram (63) told the Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo on Dec. 1 that Islamabad will call on the international community to have deals with Pakistan on nuclear power technology for civilian use. Regarding the fact that Pakistan owns nuclear weapons, which makes the international community concerned from the standpoint of nuclear nonproliferation, the envoy said, “Pakistan ensures nuclear safety.”
Akram arrived in Japan on Nov. 29 and has met with Japanese government officials including State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura. The envoy called for Japan’s support for Pakistan’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) comprised of 48 countries including Japan, the U.S. and Australia.
It seems, however, difficult for the Japanese government to decide to cooperate with Pakistan – which is a nuclear power and is not a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Without safeguard inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), our country maintains a high level of nuclear safety and transparency,” said Akram in response to such concerns. As for the possibility that Islamic extremists might attack controlled nuclear armories, the envoy said, “Thorough safety measures are in place.”