ISLAMABAD: The shocking attack on the Kamra Aeronautical Complex in the early hours of Thursday has raised questions about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear assets, which according to media reports, and not denied by the government, were present at the site. However, the government has assured that the assets are safe and sound.
“Let me tell you very clearly that Pakistan’s strategic assets are safe and sound and we have a robust command and control in place, so nobody should worry about the safety and security of our nuclear assets. They are in safe hands and all measures have been taken in this regard,”Spokesman at the Foreign Office commented in his weekly media briefing on Thursday.
This week the issue of the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear assets was raised by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who while making a case for Pakistan to take the threat of terrorism more seriously, had pointed out that it was very likely that terrorists could get their hands on these nuclear assets.
On reports that Pakistan was expanding its nuclear arsenal specific to India, the spokesman commented that Pakistan maintained a very clear position on the principle of credible minimum deterrence and as a policy did not speak about numbers.
Pakistan, said the spokesman while commenting on a joint strategy by Pakistan and the US to tackle terrorism, saw this as a continued joint effort on all fronts. “Especially, economic, security and political (strategies) are required and there is a mutual desire on both sides to cooperate on all these areas in a way which is mutually beneficial”, he added.
The spokesman did not give a clear reply to whether Pakistan had received an official assurance from the US that a joint operation in North Waziristan would not see any US boots, but repeated the official stance that Pakistan had made it clear from day one that even if there was cooperation on intelligence sharing, Pakistan would not allow anybody to violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“This is a question of Pakistan’s sovereignty and we have made it very clear from day one that fighting terrorism and extremism on its own territory is Pakistan’s responsibility and we are quite capable of handling that on our own,” replied the spokesman.