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Thursday, May 23, 2024

IAEA Delegation Visit Debunked

Pakistan refutes rumors of IAEA visit as fake news, clarifying the last DG visit in 2023.

The Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan has vehemently denied recent reports suggesting the visit of a high-level delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the country.

These assertions were dismissed as “fake news,” with the FO asserting that there is no truth to the allegations. The FO spokesperson clarified that no IAEA official is currently in Pakistan, and there are no scheduled policy discussions with the IAEA in the near future.

The controversy emerged when a video clip from an Indian news outlet circulated on social media, purportedly showing a meeting between IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

These posts raised questions about a possible agreement regarding Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Notably, individuals affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, including a member of its US chapter and various PTI supporters on social media, shared these claims.

Government Response and Clarification

In response to these claims, FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addressed the issue, categorically refuting the allegations of an IAEA delegation visit. Baloch emphasized that the last visit by the IAEA Director General to Pakistan occurred in February 2023, and there are no ongoing visits or planned discussions with the IAEA at present. She stressed that the dissemination of such false information is misleading and unwarranted.

 

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Information Minister Attaullah Tarar echoed the sentiment, condemning the spread of misinformation aimed at undermining the state’s integrity. He assured that any deliberate attempts to propagate falsehoods will be met with a robust response from the government. The FO’s clarification aimed to dispel misconceptions and reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to transparency in its interactions with international organizations like the IAEA.

Historical Context and Collaborative Efforts

The meeting depicted in the circulated video clip actually occurred in February 2023 when IAEA Director General Grossi visited Pakistan. During this visit, discussions focused on enhancing collaboration in the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology, particularly in sectors such as agriculture and medicine. Grossi engaged with Pakistan’s leadership and visited various nuclear facilities across the country to explore avenues for cooperation.

The dialogue also addressed the pressing issue of climate change and its adverse effects on Pakistan. The collaboration between Pakistan and the IAEA aimed to leverage nuclear science and technology to mitigate these challenges effectively. Through such initiatives, Pakistan seeks to harness nuclear capabilities for the benefit of its citizens and contribute to regional stability and development.