The White House said on Saturday that it is confident Pakistan is aware of its responsibilities pertaining to the safety and security of its nuclear weapons.
“We continue to be confident that the government of Pakistan is aware of those responsibilities and takes those responsibilities quite seriously,” White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said at a news briefing.
The remark came a day after two leading US think tanks claimed in a report that Pakistan would have more than 350 nuclear weapons in a decade, which means the country would have the third largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons after the United States and Russia.
Commenting on the report, Earnest said, “I did see the report. I don’t have an official administration assessment to share with you. I would say there are a couple of things that come to mind.”
He went on to add that responsibility for nuclear stockpile remains with all countries who have secured a nuclear arsenal, The Economic Times citing him as saying. “This applies not just to Pakistan but to the countries around the world that have a nuclear stockpile – they have a responsibility for securing that nuclear stockpile.”
A day earlier, a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office, regarding the nuclear report said: “Such utterly baseless reports are designed to divert attention from the exponential increase in India’s fissile material stockpiles.”
Spokesperson Earnest also said that President Barack Obama had set a long-term goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. A year after becoming president, Obama had hosted the first nuclear security summit in Washington to galvanise world leaders to achieve this goal.
“The president’s made clear that he has a long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. And the president has convened, you know, every couple of years at an international summit to try to counter nuclear proliferation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2015.