Sharif lauds Pakistan’s n-programme safety mechanism

Islamabad, June 24 (IANS) Days after Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that “our arms are not meant for decoration”, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday discussed the country’s nuclear, missile and space programmes with newly-appointed strategic plans chief here.

Sharif appreciated security and safety mechanisms and said the Strategic Plans Department (SPD) has played an important role in strengthening Pakistan’s defence capabilities, reports Dawn.

On June 16, Khawaja Asif said if forced into war by India, Islamabad would respond in a befitting manner, and added: “If need be, we will use them (nuclear arms) against India”.

New SPD chief Lt.Gen. Mazhar Jamil thanked the government for reposing confidence in him for the assignment and assured Sharif he would discharge his responsibilities.

Sharif expressed confidence that the SPD would continue to work towards this end under his command.

The SPD is an important component of Pakistan’s National Command Authority which is headed by the prime minister and exercises complete control over the country’s nuclear and strategic capability structure.

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