Qureshi casts doubt on safety of nuclear assets

Published: December 26, 2011
PTI vice-chairman says a nuclear deal between the US and India severely undermines Pakistan.

PTI vice-chairman says a nuclear deal between the US and India severely undermines Pakistan.

KARACHI: Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the high-profile recruit to the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, chose a curious issue to emphasise during his speech at the party’s Karachi rally on Sunday: nuclear assets, both at home and abroad.

The former foreign minister cast doubt that Pakistan nuclear assets were 100% safe. He told the massive crowd: “Pakistan’s nuclear programme is under a five-layered security system and is of international standards. But then you wonder what the threat is about? There is no physical threat but there is a threat from certain people.”

Qureshi also seemed to be appealing to nationalists, saying that a nuclear deal between the US and India severely undermines Pakistan.

He claimed that he had developed differences with the president over his decisions to not criticise the India-US civil nuclear partnership. Qureshi says that when he was the foreign minister, he expressed opinions against the US-India civil nuclear deal. However, according to him, President Zardari sent out a message that Pakistan will not go against any such nuclear deal.

Qureshi added that if Pakistan ever signs a ‘no first strike’ agreement with India, its nuclear assets will be wasted and worthless.

Clarifying PTI’s stand on India, Qureshi said that his party wanted friendship with everyone, including the US and India.  However, it would not tolerate slave-master relations. “We want friendship and not slavery,” he said.

“If you want to see this country as an independent country, then vote for a leadership that has the guts to take bold stand on all such decisions,” Qureshi added.

“Pakistan is under threat because of our own weaknesses. No one from outside will come to help us, we have to mend things ourselves,” was the PTI vice-chairman’s conclusion.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • faraz
    Dec 26, 2011 - 10:03AM

    Everyone knows that army controls the assets; he is creating doubts about the safety of the nukes for cheap point scoring.


  • Mirza
    Dec 26, 2011 - 10:35AM

    UNO please take notice of this grave situation. According to ex-FM and the right-hand man of IK, the nuclear weapons are not safe. This is a threat to the whole civilized world and in particular to the peace loving Pakistanis. Like the Memo scandal this trick is also going to backfire on the army and rightwing parties. It is an open invitation to the UNO and the West. Recommend

  • You Said It
    Dec 26, 2011 - 12:19PM

    The Pakistan Army is tasked with protecting the nuclear weapons. So Qureshi is really saying that the nuclear weapons are not safe in the army’s custody. This is a serious allegation against the army.


  • Bambbaayyaa
    Dec 26, 2011 - 2:18PM

    Instead if he wud have confirmed that he will eliminate terrorism emenating from Pakistan … He wud have found more friends than just India and USA… with no one asking for Slave master relationship … All the problems wud be over in a flick !!!!


  • Parvez
    Dec 26, 2011 - 3:48PM

    SMK style of addressing large public meetings is old and dead. He would be wise to learn from IK. The common man today wants substance along with a bit of theatric and not the other way around.


  • Deepu
    Dec 26, 2011 - 5:04PM

    It is interesting to see how the political minnow Imran Khan can stay these ‘tall’ figures under his control! Wish him all the best wishes from Indian People.


  • Paki-Australian
    Dec 26, 2011 - 5:53PM

    Only after joining PTI did he learn the nuclear infrastructure is at risk? Cheap old tricks!

    Would PTI last for long of its a party of same old ?Recommend

  • Cautious
    Dec 26, 2011 - 6:03PM

    Why would the USA care what Pakistan thinks about any deal it makes with India – nuclear or otherwise? What possible lever do you have on the USA? You have driven the USA into India’s arms and I would not be surprised to see India eventually come under the USA anti nuke defense shield to protect it from both Pakistan and Iran — another blunder that you can attribute to using emotion rather than strategic thinking.


  • ProudPakistani
    Dec 26, 2011 - 6:31PM

    People are sick to understand logic behind his saying…


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Dec 26, 2011 - 6:41PM

    Nuclear Pakistsn could be never a threat to India . We know the fusion technique which is more leathal than fission .That is why in responce to 9 explosions we did only two .Atom bomb is now going to be a threat to Pskistan itself and that is why Quarashi has rightly said that this dirty bomb is no more safe for Pakistan .


  • grain of truth
    Dec 27, 2011 - 3:17AM

    i am not sure if its my Urdu or my English.. if you heard the man speak and what he said// you will come to appreciate what he meant.. the nuclear weapons are safe but the people in power currently namely the politicians whose motives are questionable. Effectively Pakistan is not safe in the current parties hands and nor are Pakistani assets.


  • Paki-Australian
    Dec 27, 2011 - 1:08PM

    I agree – supposedly the infrastructure is safe( comments like these keep the Army happy!) this fresh PPP degactor is simply attempting to incite hatred for the elected govt by using Nuclear topic as cover. I do not believe in PPP or PML, & PTI is stuffing itself with old culprits. The point I am attempting to make is – its a shame such a lack of honest leadership exists in Pakistan! Shame on us!


  • Show
    Dec 28, 2011 - 1:02AM

    Lol I know educations standards in Delhi are low
    But don’t u understand smq when he says threat is from certain people ie zardari and no physical threat . India -us deal was a danger to south Asia that’s common sense , not nationalist but everyone
    And who is. Un ? Nothing


  • Raj - USA
    Dec 28, 2011 - 3:42AM


    Mirza is correct. The more you keep talking about the nuclear assets, the more the rest of the World, and even many in Pakistan, shall feel that nuclear assets are not safe or secure in Pakistan. Not a single day passes without Pakistan’s News Media / Politicians / Army / Mullas / Terrorists saying something about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.


  • Javed
    Dec 28, 2011 - 4:08AM

    @Show: You and your ilk are very conveniently side tracking the reality. No civilian has anything to do with nuclear safety (Zardari or anyone else). Equally important, defence and foreign policy are under the Military’s control and will remain with them. Lota SMK is just trying to be more loyal than the king, accepted by you out of hatred.


  • Javed
    Dec 28, 2011 - 4:15AM

    Beware of the day when Imran Khan actually wins the elections and then does not give SMK the ministry of his choice. We shall all then find out what a venomous snake he actually is.


  • samia
    Dec 28, 2011 - 7:40AM

    The whole world is already suspcious about Pakistans nuclear program and he is drawing more unwanted attention to it. He was the foreign minister with Zardari for 2 years why was his mouth closed then? Just for cheap political point scoring he is putting pakistans nuclear program in danger.Recommend

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