Islamabad [Pakistan], February 8 (ANI): China's aid to Pakistan in developing nuclear energy technology and assisting the country in the construction of nuclear power plants pose proliferation risks, reported a Canada-based thinktank, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).
Pakistan refused to meet International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards and due to this, Canada decided to terminate its nuclear energy cooperation with Islamabad in 1976.
Safeguards are activities by which the IAEA can verify that a State is living up to its international commitments not to use nuclear programmes for nuclear-weapons purposes and Pakistan denied to meet these guidelines.
Ever since that, China, as part of its regional balance of power strategy in the South Asian region, has been enabling Pakistan to augment its nuclear capabilities.
This move undermines China's commitment to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation.
Not only this, it also enables Pakistan to devote more of its 'unsafeguarded nuclear infrastructure' to fissile material production for nuclear weapons, reported the thinktank.
According to IFFRAS, It did not take much time for China to reach out to Pakistan with their assistance in further developing Islamabad's programme once Pakistan was denied help from Canada.
The think tank said that in the garb of addressing Pakistan's electricity shortages, China has been assisting the country to build its nuclear energy program.
In September 1986, China and Pakistan signed an agreement to facilitate the transfer of civil nuclear technology.
China supplied Pakistan with various nuclear weapon delivery systems, such as the export of the solid-fuelled, short-range DF-11 (M-11) ballistic missile in the early 1990s.
This sale equipped Pakistan with a reliable nuclear-capable delivery system amidst the development of a nuclear warhead, which it first tested in 1998.
This export was carried out by a Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE) named, China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC), which markets and sells missiles abroad on behalf of other state-owned firms.
Between 1994 and 1995, a separate SOE, China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC), shipped 5,000 ring magnets to Dr A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories is a facility in Pakistan which is immune to international nuclear safeguards.
Ring magnets are key components that stabilize centrifuges used in uranium enrichment.
This transfer from a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), which is China's largest nuclear energy SOE, to one of the primary research organizations working on Pakistan's nuclear weapon program was a certain proof that the export was an intentional contribution to Islamabad's growing nuclear weapons programme.
In 2017, Wuhan Sanjiang shipped components with applications in missile transporters and launchers to an entity connected to Pakistan's nuclear and missile work.
Most recently, on September 8, 2021, PAEC and CZEC signed, 'The Framework Agreement on Deepening Nuclear Energy Cooperation, which would enable technology transfer for uranium mining and processing, nuclear fuel supply and setting up research reactors, reported the thinktank. (ANI)