For the energy-starved sector of Pakistan, Beijings frank and forthright announcement that it would go ahead with the expansion of the nuclear power generation facility at Chashma, despite Western and Indian objections against it, is, indeed, welcome news. Only recently, some circles in the US and other countries of the West, which seem to be perpetually on the lookout for an excuse to raise alarm about the safety and security of our nuclear programme, found one in Fukushima, Japan. They contended that the looming disaster at the Daiichi Complex nuclear plant consequent upon the massive earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, could accost Pakistan as well, should the Chinese proceed with their plan of installing more units at the Chashma power producing plant. Their argument that the models of the Chashma and Fukushima plants were the same has been effectively handled by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, who maintained in a statement issued on Friday that the possibility of a Fukushima-like occurrence at Chashma had been taken care of. 'There was no chance for a natural calamity to harm the facility, she asserted, thus dismissing doubts that the report was trying to sow in the minds of opponents as well as supporters of the project. Pakistans nuclear programme, whether military or civilian, has not ceased to rankle the West and the Indians, notwithstanding the fact that the story of the allegation of proliferation is a thing of the past. Besides, the measures that the National Command Authority has enforced are so foolproof that even foreign experts have testified that there is now absolutely no possibility of any further proliferation. Yet, the moment Pakistan and China signed an agreement to put up additional units, the opponents erupted in a united chorus of alarm. They have for long been harping on the theme of proliferation, in and out of season. To silence this noise, the Chinese spokesperson categorically stated that her government would ensure the safety of Pakistans nuclear assets. Strangely, the countries and analysts, who are hostile to the Chashma project even though it is under IAEA safeguards, find nothing wrong with the US policy, which directly violates international law and is against the logic of proliferation, while enriching India with nuclear technology and equipment under the subterfuge of civilian nuclear cooperation. The acquisition of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is every nations right that is recognised by the NPT; in fact, this was a major persuasive factor for the non-nuclear weapons states to accede to the treaty. It is shameful for the US and its friends to have adopted double standards, showering those who hold the promise of serving their strategic ends with civilian and military know-how and equipment, while trying to deprive others of their legitimate civilian needs. China has, therefore, rightly said that Pakistan is its ally and the two countries would continue to help each other in promoting each others nuclear programme. The Chinese stand should jolt Pakistans West-oriented leadership out of their less than enthusiastic response to the offer of firm friendship repeatedly made to the country by Beijing and go the whole hog in cementing this valuable relationship.