Pakistan reiterates nuclear assets are safe

Published: August 16, 2012
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Foreign ministry says Pakistan has a robust command and control system in place.

Foreign ministry says Pakistan has a robust command and control system in place.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan rejected US concerns, on Thursday, that its nuclear assets may fall into the wrong hands, insisting the country’s strategic assets were safe and sound.

During the Foreign Ministry weekly press briefing, spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan said, “Pakistan’s strategic assets are safe and sound and we have a robust command and control in place, so nobody should worry about the safety and security of our nuclear assets.”

The statements were in reaction to recent remarks made by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who feared that Pakistan’s nuclear assets were in danger of falling into the hands of terrorists if terrorism was not controlled in the country.

“The great danger we’ve always feared is that if terrorism is not controlled in their country, than those nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands,” Panetta had earlier told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.

The US Defense Secretary was responding to questions on a recent congressional report which had said that Pakistan is increasing its nuclear capabilities, which are mainly targeted towards India.

The foreign ministry spokesman, however, refused to comment on the US congressional report.

“We don’t comment on such reports. We have a very clear position on the principle of credible minimum deterrence,” he added.

His remarks came hours after a brazen attack by the Tehreek-i-Taliban on a key military airbase in Kamra early Thursday morning, leading to an almost four hour-long gun battle between the attackers and military commandos.

A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also brushed aside speculations that the latest assault could endanger the country’s nuclear assets.

No foreign boots on Pakistani soil’

The foreign ministry spokesman also denied reports that Pakistan was planning any joint military offensive with the United States in North Waziristan Agency.

“This is a question of Pakistan’s sovereignty and we had made it very clear from day one that fighting terrorism and extremism on its own territory is Pakistan’s responsibility and we are quite capable of handling that on our own,” he said.

However, he maintained that Pakistan would cooperate on intelligence sharing with the US to deal with elements posing a threat on either sides of the border.

Regarding a question on cross border attacks on the Af-Pak border, the spokesman said that Pakistan was engaging both with Afghanistan and Nato/Isaf to address the issue.

Syrian crisis

Expressing concerns over the deteriorating situation in Syria, the spokesman insisted that Pakistan had taken a principled stand on the issue.

“While we are concerned about the deteriorating situation in Syria and we feel that the bloodshed must be stopped immediately, we feel that only a peaceful and political solution based on the principles of non-intervention, non-interference and no use of force is a viable option,” he emphasised.

Earlier on Thursday, the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation suspended Syria in a meeting attended by its staunch ally Iran, in a move hailed early Thursday by the US as one that sends “a strong message” to Damascus.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • Aug 16, 2012 - 7:56PM

    Nuclear weapons do not deter terrorists. They have become useless and irrelevant, part of our security problem rather than part of the solution..

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 16, 2012 - 7:58PM

    Now I myself have started doubting about the safety of our nukes. These mindless people at the helm of affairs don’t understand a simple thing that every time you refute such allegations, this mere act of denial creates doubts. A wise person would keep quite instead of unnecessary rants.

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  • Pappu Hamid Gul
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:00PM

    Our nuclear assets are the safest in the world. If anyone dare take our prizes, we will blow them to bits and pieces.

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  • Jeffmahagaonvi
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:02PM

    “Nuclear assets are safe. But not the muslim, muslim minorties, religious minorties
    and ethnic minorties are safe.
    Islamic Republic of Pakistan Zindabad.

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  • Not me
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:04PM

    Send the spokesmen back to school to learn english:

    “While we are concerned about the deteriorating situation in Syria and we feel that the bloodshed must be stopped immediately, we feel that only a peaceful and political solution based on the principles of non-intervention, non-interference and no use of force is a viable option,” he emphasised.

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  • san
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:06PM

    put on sale..atleast life standard of people will be raise to some extent. these atom bombs are of no use. either bin it or safely handed to UN.

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  • Asim Ali
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:07PM

    Cities are unsafe, roads are unsafe, people in general are unsafe. But hey, nuclear assets are safe. What a sad joke. Recommend

  • Naseer
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:08PM

    My dear foreign minister, please check the security related issues from GHQ to Kamra before making such big statements.

    Pakistan’s Nuclear assets are in safe hands until they are attacked by the terrorists.

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  • Naseer
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:10PM

    @Pappu Hamid Gul:
    Hamid wake up and smell the coffee.

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  • Ali
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:15PM

    why do you guys always think in destruction?….why dont we have a constructive mind?…
    what do you get out of having those nukes?….nothing!

    it was better to make a nuclear power plant which can generate electricity for the whole country then having those bombs in the country.

    there is enough money spent on making those, and there is way more then that spent on keeping those safe…

    think positive, and positive things will happen.Recommend

  • Vikas
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:16PM

    Pakistan nukes are not safe from terrorist and rouge scientist. UN should remove all the nukes and put all nuclear facilities under IAEA inspection.

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  • Cautious
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:21PM

    “This is a question of Pakistan’s
    sovereignty and we had made it very
    clear from day one that fighting
    terrorism and extremism on its own
    territory is Pakistan’s responsibility
    and we are quite capable of handling
    that on our own,”

    If your so capable then please explain why your govt has effective control of only 1/2 of your country?

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  • Iron
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:33PM

    @Vikas:
    Just for fun lets spread the rumor that we are giving nukes to kashmiri mujahedeen, I wonder that how many indians will be sleepless for weeks.

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  • clean pakistan
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:39PM

    entire world is in danger!! exposed one more time.

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  • ZardariDunIt
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:51PM

    The nukes are safe for only are nukes are worthy of protection

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:54PM

    ‘No foreign boots on Pakistani soil’

    So, Pakistan started making its own shoes? Mmmm. gud.

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  • LionOfPunjab
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:55PM

    How Ironic! Instead of nuclear bombs protecting us we have to protect the nuclear bombs themselves!

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  • Hari
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Why do they keep on reiterating as things are unraveling all the time. Terrorists are killing innocents, attacking the state and its assets at will and our response is only reiterating. This is so pathetic and makes me despondent.

    -Hari

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  • Truth Detector
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:10PM

    @Vikas, anything else sir? We have ‘specials’ on menu as well today:

    Free Balochistan
    Free Sind

    Would you like to try any of those items as well? :->

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  • Saladin Chamchawalla
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:13PM

    If Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership had an ounce of wisdom and sense; it would get rid this albatross of “assetts” hanging around Pakistan’s neck and bury it in Hamid Gul and company’s “Strategic Depth” hole.

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  • claude
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:14PM

    If ever, first credible nuclear bomb threat from a Pakistani will be on Lahore or Karachi, which are easier to access than any Indian city for those who are really crazy and capable of doing so.

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  • Imran Con
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:31PM

    Things are always considered safe until the day they’re proven not to be. That day is usually the one where x is stolen or y is killed. Then security goes up and the situation repeats itself. Even most movie script writers know this. Their favorite topic is a criminal bypassing some high security protection and surveillance system that they thought was the best which made them complacent. How people who specialize in the actual topic don’t know it is sad.

    It just happens that the day your nukes are proven unsafe has widespread implications that outrank Pakistan’s pride as a concern. You could use that line for many nuclear countries except there’s one little difference for Pakistan. Those countries aren’t infested with terrorists who constantly prove to be smarter than their security forces.

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  • Sidewinder
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:31PM

    @iron
    ”Just for fun lets spread the rumor that we are giving nukes to kashmiri mujahedeen, I wonder that how many indians will be sleepless for weeks.”
    if I was a Pakistani I would never think about having fun……..

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  • Indian
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:31PM

    Pakistan reiterates nuclear assets are safe
    Pakistan had also ‘reiterated’ that Osama was not in Pakistan………

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  • Prakash
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:32PM

    The trouble is no one believes Pakistani statements. Not after OBL.

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  • Indian
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:37PM

    @Iron:
    Just for fun lets spread the rumor that we are giving nukes to kashmiri mujahedeen, I wonder that how many indians will be sleepless for weeks.
    The same number as that of Pakistanis if not less had Narendra Modi had access to them…..

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  • Menon
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:47PM

    @Iron:

    Let me answer, NONE. We will take them out before you take it out of the bunker. These are not toys you see in the toy store. You people talk about nuclear weapons like it is some fire cracker. Look any paper in any country, you will not see “Nuclear” mentioned at all. In pakistan it is in every other sentence. It is useless weapon. If you use it, you sestruction to nuclear waste land is assured.

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  • Menon
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:49PM

    @Truth Detector:

    Tha is exactly what Balochi’s and Sindhi’s tryig to do, free themselves.

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  • dud
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:12PM

    @Indian:
    u stole my comment!!!

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:42PM

    @Iron:

    Just for fun lets spread the rumor
    that we are giving nukes to kashmiri
    mujahedeen, I wonder that how many
    indians will be sleepless for weeks.

    That might mean Pak used nukes on India first and would nullify the protection offered by India’s no first use doctrine.

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  • ammar
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:47PM

    planned attack by cia or raw to create a case that “pakistani nuclear assets are unsafe”

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  • kaalchakra
    Aug 16, 2012 - 11:35PM

    @claude

    “If ever, first credible nuclear bomb threat from a Pakistani will be on Lahore or Karachi, which are easier to access than any Indian city for those who are really crazy and capable of doing so.”

    Amazing the manner in which anti-Pakistani imagination runs wild. First, those nuclear weapons are perfectly safe. Second, no matter how radical, no Pakistani is going to drop nuclear weapons on Lahore or Karachi. People, please stop this scare-mongering.

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  • Asif MF Bhutto
    Aug 16, 2012 - 11:49PM

    @Pakistani Hindu: The fact is that the nukes are not for fighting terrorism.

    The fact is that if it was not for the nukes the likes of Narendra Modhi on the Indian side with their 33 divisions (660,000 men) parked across the border since November 2007, would be very willing and interested in walking over.

    This was quoted by the Isreali general viz-a-viz Iranian ambition to acquire nukes. He said that we asked a visiting Indian general why did they not “punish Pakistan after the Mumbai incident,” The response: When the other side has nukes and is willing and able to use them, it makes you think twice.

    The fact is that if it was not for the nukes, our “overzealous and friendly” neighbor’s wet dream has been to turn Pakistan into Palestine (ala Gaza).

    I sincerely believe that regardless of your religion affiliation, as a Pakistani patriot, you would appreciate it.

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  • Aug 16, 2012 - 11:56PM

    The terrorists were not trying to harm our nuclear weapon. They were trying to steal Water Kit.

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  • Aug 16, 2012 - 11:57PM

    @indian I usually do not do trash talk but here it comes …You can even load your Nukes and point in our direction and we are 100% sure that they will not work …. Again this thought alone is enough to keep indians sleepless for rest of their lives …

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  • Beware!
    Aug 17, 2012 - 12:04AM

    Those who are beating the drums of unsafety of nuclear assets in Pakistan yet again, are the orchestrators of these attacks. Their agenda is simple: Flame sectarianism, create insecurity, chaos and division, kill them from inside if you cant afford to attack and invade. Open your eyes: Libya, Iraq, Syria….. list goes on and on. Taliban, AL CIAIDA etc are all the same foreign funded criminals/gangsters bred and nourished with opium money (cultivated under the entrepreneurship of NATO), have evolved and will continue to evolve unless demise of the imperialists and hypocrites or awakening of the masses in Pakistan.

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  • Salman
    Aug 17, 2012 - 12:21AM

    Pakistan should have over some of their nuclear bombs to the people of Assam, Naxals, Kashmiri Mujhaddins, freedom fighters in Nagaland for the ultimate peace in the sub continent.

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  • boltanaujawan
    Aug 17, 2012 - 12:59AM

    it clearly indicates vested interests of uncle sam

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  • Nand
    Aug 17, 2012 - 1:23AM

    For once I am with Pakistan that they have nukes but with this one question: why build and protect 100+ nukes when 25 of them can finish India five times over? You are spending US$ 2.5 Billion just for it. Then another question arises: 1/ are the rest for sale and 2/ are they so unstable that you need quantity over quality?

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  • observer (UK)
    Aug 17, 2012 - 1:35AM

    Nuclear devices are not assets but liabilities.
    For how long the military will keep sucking blood out of poor people?
    Military is professionally inefficient and incapable of protecting its bases. It was the ISI who sowed the seed of TTP and now they are harvesting it.

    Recommend

  • realist
    Aug 17, 2012 - 6:20AM

    Just a thought: Cant Pak safe keep the nukes in China? First it was Mehran, now Kamra, how many more?

    —Neighbour from east.

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  • RS
    Aug 17, 2012 - 7:58AM

    We feel there’s no need for Pakistan government to keep repeating “nuclear assists safety” each time a ant crawl. There are several incidents like this in US military installations or near by, that doesn’t mean US nuclear assists would be taken over by terrorist, kluklex klans, Christian militants etc etc organizations within it’s territory.

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  • Indian
    Aug 17, 2012 - 10:25AM

    @M.Aswad Mehtab:
    I usually do not do trash talk but here it comes …
    Means you yourself agreed that you were about to talk ‘trash’ from then on… I totally agree that you talked ‘trash’….

    Recommend

  • Aug 17, 2012 - 5:44PM

    @Asif MF Bhutto:
    As a true Pakistani – who puts his country before his religion – I reiterate, we do not need these nuclear weapons. Your justification that just because India has them, so should/must we, is illogical sir. India is not interested in destablizing Pakistan as it will only worsen the threat to its internal security.Recommend

  • Iron
    Aug 18, 2012 - 5:44AM

    I just love to make fun these indian trolls, I got the response that I was expecting.

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