ISLAMABAD: Pakistan observes the best safety practices and holds a perfect nuclear safety record for the last 40 years, the Foreign Office spokesperson asserted on Wednesday refuting suggestions to the contrary in a news report.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam Khan in a statement released on Wednesday expressed regret on the story published in The New York Times on January 26 titled “Afghanistan exit is seen as peril to CIA drone mission,” authored by David Sanger and Eric Schmitt.
Published two days ago, the story had hinted towards US fears over a possible nuclear crisis in the region and the maintainability of a drone campaign in the mountainous tribal areas of Pakistan.
The foreign office spokesperson said that the story was “yet another manifestation of a clichéd theme, conjuring up baseless scenarios.”
Khan further asserted that “Pakistan follows best practices and standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency. It has an impeccable record of safely operating nuclear power plants for over 40 years.”
“The timing of this story, purportedly based on briefings by anonymous US officials, is rather intriguing, coming, as it did, on the eve of the ministerial level review of the strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the United States in Washington.”
The spokesperson added that “the contents and drift of the story contradict the expression of desire by senior members of the US Administration to develop an enduring partnership with Pakistan on the basis of mutual trust and mutual respect.”
“Such tendentious reporting is also at variance with the confidence expressed by US leaders and officials in the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.”
She underscored “the fact that Pakistan has both the will and the capacity to thwart all threats to its nuclear assets.”
“This clarity of purpose is underpinned by national consensus on the indispensability of a credible minimum nuclear deterrent to the strategic calculus of Pakistan.”