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Pakistani authority places ads for misplaced nuclear material


Islamabad : Pakistan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority Thursday played down a series of advertisements it placed in national media asking citizens to inform authorities of any “lost and missing” nuclear material.

The organization this week published quarter-page ads in Urdu-language newspapers warning people that radioactive material that may have gone missing from medical or industrial research facilities could be harmful.

“The adverts are nothing to worry about as we are only trying to fully account for every bit of radioactive material,” spokeswoman Sherin Akhtar said.

The authority was responsible for keeping a record of radioactive material used in various sectors, also including agricultural research, and it was possible that some may have been “misplaced” over the years, she said.

The campaign was not linked to any specific missing or stolen radioactive material, she said.

Pakistan’s tarred nuclear record has come under the spotlight again this week with the release of a new dossier in Britain on the black market activities of the founder of its nuclear programme, Abdul Qadir Khan.

The scientist confessed in 2004 that he had leaked nuclear secrets and technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea. He now lives under house arrest in Islamabad.