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Pakistan Takes Chair Of UN Nuclear Watchdog

Delegates at IAEA headquarters in Vienna (file photo)
Pakistan has taken over the chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog, despite that country's exclusion from a key atomic agreement and a suspected role in proliferation.

Pakistan assumes the chairmanship of the Vienna-based IAEA from Malaysia as the nominee of a group of Middle East and South Asia member states.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan, along with India, Israel, and North Korea, has shunned the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) that governs the IAEA's work.

Iran and North Korea, seen as major proliferation risks by the West, are believed to have benefited from a nuclear smuggling ring run by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb and a national hero.

compiled from agency reports