‘Retention of N-capability a compulsion for Pak’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Islamabad, June 18: The retention of an essential nuclear capability is a “compulsion” for Pakistan because of the growing imbalance created by India’s massive military build-up and “assertive posturing”, a top Pakistani military commander has said.
General Tariq Majid, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, made the remarks while addressing a convocation ceremony at the National Defence University last night.
Though Majid did not name India in his speech, it was obvious he was referring to the neighbouring country as he referred to Indian military doctrines and the India-US nuclear deal.
Pakistan has to be mindful of the “blatant pursuit of military preponderance in our neighbourhood” and the build-up of conventional and nuclear forces, Majid said.
“Growing power imbalance due to continuing build-up of massive military machine, including both hi-tech conventional and nuclear forces, adoption of dangerous Cold Start doctrine and proactive strategy, more assertive posturing especially after the very exceptional civil nuclear deal and notions of two front war are all destabilising trends, carrying implications for Pakistan’s security,” he said.
“Therefore, retention of essential nuclear capability to maintain credible minimum deterrence against any possible aggression is our compulsion and not a matter of choice,” Majid said.
His comments come barely a week before the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan are to meet to find ways to bridge the trust deficit between the two countries.
Majid said Pakistan rejects “discriminatory policies” and demands its “rightful place as a nuclear weapon state.”
As a “responsible nuclear weapon state and despite being a non-NPT country, Pakistan has always supported non-proliferation efforts, and our position on disarmament issues has remained consistent and pragmatic,” he contended.
Referring to Fissile Material Treaty discussions, he said the move is “only Pakistan-specific” and unacceptable to the country. “Countries of the world need to be sensitive to our security concerns
rather than attempting in vain to browbeat us or riding roughshod over our concerns,” he said.
On recurring concerns expressed by the West over the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and materials, the General said that “nuclear security within a state is a national responsibility that we are shouldering with utmost vigilance and assurance.”
Pakistan has put in place a “very robust regime that includes multi-layered mechanisms and processes to secure our strategic assets, and have provided maximum transparency on our practices,” he contended.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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