JEDDAH — The Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC) held a symposium last night in Kababish restaurant titled “Nuclear Technology – our need and obligation” on the 14th anniversary of “Youm-e-Takbir”, the May 28, 1998 day when Pakistan carried out six nuclear tests in response to India’s five.
Chief guest and renowned journalist and writer Irshad Saleem said acquiring a nuclear deterrent was essential for Pakistan due to its geopolitical situation in the region.
However, he emphasized the importance of safeguarding the country’s nuclear weapons and keeping them in accordance with international standards. Saleem also called on overseas Pakistanis to play a bigger role in the betterment of the country.
“There are over 5 million overseas Pakistanis living in North America, the United Kingdom and in GCC countries and they can play a greater role in improving the country’s economy if the rulers want things to improve. Every year over $8 billion is repatriated by overseas Pakistanis but it has never been utilized for the betterment of the nation or people. We have to improve our image and be a united nation rather one divided along ethnic, religious or linguistic lines,” said Saleem while also urging the media to play a more responsible role and improve its professionalism.
The leader of Pakistan Peoples Community Agha Mohammad Akram said although the country had acquired nuclear weapons for defense purposes, it had failed to make use of nuclear technology for improving the lives of the common people. “Many countries use nuclear technology to meet over 50 percent of their electricity needs but we are not even using it to meet 5 percent of our needs. Also, we have not built any dams in 40 years while our neighbor India has built over 50 major dams in the same period,” said Mahmood while calling on all political parties to include the issue of stranded Pakistanis in their manifestos.
Convener Ehsanul Haque, leader of Urdu Markaz Gulab Khan and community leader Shamsuddin Altaf praised the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear program Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan.
The following resolutions were approved by the audience: