In light of all the current angst about the turmoil in Pakistan and concern over its nuclear weapons and the possibility that they, or more likely, relevant technology, equipment, and material, might leak elsewhere, it seems relevant to note this synopsis by the Partnership For Global Security of its workshop, Building Confidence in Pakistan’s Nuclear Security.
According to the press release:
PGS organized this ground-breaking workshop in cooperation with high level Pakistani government representatives and with the support of US officials. The report offers updated information on the status and evolution of Pakistan’s nuclear security system, the responsibilities of key government agencies, physical security and personnel practices, and areas for future action.
Let it not be said that Pakistani officials are unaware of what is on the mind of the rest of the world. Right there on the first page of the workshop summary it notes:
Pakistani officials emphasized that Pakistan’s nuclear establishment has undergone significant changes since 1998 which have resulted in stronger nuclear security practices. The security changes came about following the covert phase of Pakistan’s nuclear program (1974-1998) when the central organizational structure to exercise control or coordinate nuclear efforts was weaker than today and export controls were more relaxed. It was in this environment that Dr AQ Khan was able to manipulate the system and exploit the loopholes to pursue unconventional means of receiving nuclear materials and equipment and further his own interests. Officials recognized that the Pakistani system had not been sufficiently transparent to alleviate concerns regarding these proliferation threats and that they now wanted to build confidence in the international community that they have taken adequate steps to address them.