By: Kimberly Rodrigues
Pakistan’s prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has reaffirmed the safety and security of the country’s nuclear programme, emphasising that it is “completely foolproof” and carefully protected by the state.
This statement comes as international concerns have been raised over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear programme due to the country’s financial difficulties.
The Prime Minister’s Office has issued a statement addressing the press releases, inquiries, and claims about Pakistan’s missile and nuclear programme circulating on social and print media, including the portrayal of a routine visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency director general Rafael Mariano Grossi in a negative light.
“It is emphasised that Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programme is a national asset, which is jealously guarded by the state. The complete programme is totally secure, foolproof, and under no stress or pressure whatsoever,” the statement said.
“It continues to fully serve the purpose for which this capability was developed,” it added.
Despite economic challenges and difficulties in securing a loan from the IMF, finance minister Ishaq Dar has reassured Parliament that the government will not compromise on Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programme.
Pakistan’s economy is facing severe challenges, and the country is eagerly awaiting a USD 1.1 billion funding tranche from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).
US president Joe Biden’s comments in October about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal were disputed by Sharif, who called them “factually incorrect and misleading”.
During a Democratic Party congressional campaign committee reception, Biden had referred to Pakistan as one of the most dangerous nations in the world due to its possession of nuclear weapons without cohesion.
(With inputs from PTI)