Prime Minister Muhammed Nawaz Sharif has called for Pakistan's inclusion in all international export control regimes, especially the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Addressing the first plenary session at the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague on Monday, he said the country was running a secure and safeguarded civil nuclear programme for more than forty years. "We have the expertise, manpower and infrastructure to produce civil nuclear energy," he said in an official statement.

He admitted that an energy deficit was one of the most serious crises facing Pakistan. He said as the economy was being revived, he looked forward to international cooperation and assistance for nuclear energy under IAEA safeguards.

International treaties and forums should supplement national actions to fortify nuclear security, he pointed out.

Pakistan is a party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). "We work closely with the IAEA to deal with the safety and security of radioactive sources and illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. We regularly submit reports to the UN Security Council 1540 Committee on the measure we take to exercise control over transfer of sensitive materials and technologies," he said.

Mr. Sharif also announced that Pakistan was considering ratification of the 2005 Amendment to the CPPNM and actively conducting a review to meet its various requirements.

He said he was for nuclear security "which is a national responsibility and a global priority." He called for measures to secure all nuclear facilities and materials and prevent any perceived nuclear terrorist threat. "We all need radioactive sources for hospitals, industry and research but we should be vigilant about radiological threats," he cautioned.

He reiterated that Pakistan attached the highest importance to nuclear security because it is directly linked to national security. Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapons state and it pursued a policy of nuclear restraint, as well as credible minimum deterrence, he said.

The region needs peace and stability for economic development, he said while advocating nuclear restraint and balance in conventional forces.

He explained that Pakistan's nuclear security is supported by five pillars - a strong command and control system led by the National Command Authority (NCA), an integrated intelligence system, a rigorous regulatory regime, a comprehensive export control regime and active international cooperation.

He assured the gathering that nuclear materials, facilities and assetswere safe and secure and Pakistan's nuclear security regime is anchored in the principle of multi-layered defense for the entire spectrum of threats- insider, outsider or cyber. The country also had established a Centre of Excellence that conducts specialized courses in nuclear security, physical protection and personnel reliability.

Pakistan is ready to share its best practices and training facilities with other interested states in the region and beyond, he offered.

It has also deployed radiation detection mechanisms at several exit and entry points to prevent illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear materials. In the realm of international cooperation on nuclear security, IAEA has an essential responsibility and a central role to play. Pakistan has been working productively with the IAEA to implement its Nuclear Security Action Plan (NSAP), he added.