India has no right to question Pakistan’s nuke programme

Islamabad, April 2 (IANS) India has “no right” to question Pakistan’s decision to develop its nuclear material as its own nuclear programme is highly ambitious, a Pakistani daily has said.

The Nation, in an editorial titled ‘Safe And Secure’, also slammed the US over its support for India’s nuclear programme, which it said was because India is one of the largest importers of arms.

The editorial said that Pakistan’s security of its nuclear stockpile came into question “once again” during talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in Washington in the backdrop of the Nuclear Security Summit.

It said Kerry, during his conversation with Doval, indicated that India and the US have begun conversations about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme and Kerry also praised India’s “responsible stewardship” of its nuclear weapons.

Asserting that Pakistan is “following a policy of minimum nuclear deterrence to preserve strategic stability in South Asia”, it said the deployment of “battlefield tactical nuclear weapons that Mr. Kerry refers to are Pakistan’s decision in light of the level of threat that it faces currently”.

“It would be wise that the US uses this platform to address the tensions between the two counterparts before it wants to strike up a conversation about limiting the development of nukes,” the editorial said.

“It is also a fact that Pakistan’s nuclear programme is fully secure and there has not been a single breach, whereas India has five reported cases of nuclear breaches,” The Nation said.

“While the US will never be quite satisfied with the seriousness with which Pakistan protects it nuclear program, India has no right to question Islamabad’s decision to develop its nuclear materials considering the fact that its nuclear programme is highly ambitious and continues to increase its stockpile. It is understandable that the US will support its ally and one of the largest importers of arms in the world in comparison to distrustful Pakistan. But rest assured that Pakistan is a country that takes pride in its nuclear programme and will continue to enjoy full ownership of its assets regardless of any reservations that other parties might or might not have,” it wrote.

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