N-arsenal is for defence, says Pakistan

Islamabad, March 3 (IANS) Islamabad on Thursday said its nuclear arsenal is for the defence of Pakistan and its people.

This comes days after US Secretary of State John Kerry asked the south Asian country to consider reducing its nuclear arsenal.

“Our nuclear deterrence is to deter any aggression against Pakistan’s territorial integrity,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammed Nafees Zakaria said during the weekly briefing.

“It is for the defence of Pakistan and its people, as a responsible nuclear state, we have invested in ensuring nuclear safety, nuclear security and robust command and control system,” the spokesperson added.

On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Advisor said in Washington that “India, not terrorism, is the biggest threat to the region”, and asked India to reduce its nuclear stockpile so that Pakistan can consider reciprocation.

Sartaj Aziz underscored that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is a major deterrent, a fact that the US also recognises.

Responding sharply to Kerry’s suggestion to cut its nuclear arsenal, Aziz said it was India that was stockpiling n-weapons and not Pakistan as it has to keep up a minimum deterrence.

“If they increase the stockpile, we cannot reduce ours,” he said.

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