The National Command Authority (NCA), the apex body that controls Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, on Wednesday vowed to maintain ‘full spectrum deterrence capability’ to deter all forms of aggression against the backdrop of fast-paced development of India’s strategic and conventional capabilities.
The meeting of the NCA headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was held at the Joint Staff Headquarters in Chaklala, Rawalpindi. It was attended by federal ministers of defence, finance and interior, the premier’s adviser and special assistant on foreign affairs, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman, the three services chiefs and the director general of the Strategic Plans Division.
A statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the NCA reviewed the internal security situation and acknowledged the sacrifices and appreciated successes of the armed forces in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
The NCA reposed full confidence in Pakistan’s robust nuclear command and control structure and security arrangements related to country’s strategic assets.
The NCA also reviewed the regional security environment and was briefed on fast-paced strategic and conventional capabilities’ developments taking place in the neighbourhood.
The NCA reaffirmed that Pakistan remained fully cognizant of the evolving security dynamics of South Asia and will take all measures to safeguard its national security.
“In view of the growing conventional asymmetry, the NCA reiterated the national resolve to maintain ‘Full Spectrum Deterrence Capability’ in line with the dictates of ‘Credible Minimum Deterrence’ to deter all forms of aggression, adhering to the policy of avoiding an arms race,” the statement said.
It further said that as responsible nuclear state, Pakistan will remain actively engaged with the international community on nuclear stability and security issues.
In its appraisal of the non-proliferation debate since the last meeting, the NCA expressed satisfaction on Pakistan’s enhanced outreach with the multilateral export control regimes.
“Pakistan shares the goals of non-proliferation and is committed to play its due role as a mainstream partner in the global non-proliferation regimes,’ the statement said.
The meeting renewed Pakistan’s interest in joining the multilateral export control regimes on non-discriminatory basis; including the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group.
“Pakistan has the requisite credentials for full access to civil nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, particularly to meet its energy shortages,” it said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2015.