ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has firmly rejected statement of Director General International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about safety of its nuclear assets, and said that these are as secure as that of any other nuclear weapons state. Reacting to the remarks of Dr. El Baradei, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq told media persons at the weekly briefing here on Wednesday that Pakistan was in touch with IAEA over the matter. He said the Foreign Office has already approached to a senior official of the agency to express concern over the statement.
He said Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapon state and statements expressing concern about their safety are unwarranted and irresponsible. He said as head of a UN body, Dr. Baradei must remain within his mandate that is essentially concerned with the safeguarded facilities and not other issue. He should be careful about statements.
He said the remarks of DG, IAEA ignore the fact that the strategic assets of Pakistan are fully secure and under multi-layered safeguards and controls exercised by the National Command Authority. The spokesman pointed out that on several occasions IAEA Chief has been briefed about the structure and control mechanisms put in place to ensure complete safety of Pakistan’s nuclear assets.
He said Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapon state and statements expressing concern about their safety are unwarranted and irresponsible. A section of the international media has embarked upon a propaganda campaign against Pakistan and its national institutions and also about security of strategic assets.
He pointed out that in the garb of reporting and analysing the horrific Liaquat Bagh incident, some sections of the Western media are indulging in baseless and sinister campaign against Pakistan. He said this campaign is apparently aimed at destabilizing Pakistan and upsetting its people when they were already in a state of shock.
He said a section of Western press has always attacked Pakistan for creating trouble for the country or portray it in negative image. To give an example, the Economist in a recent issue termed Pakistan as the most dangerous place but the article only dealt with some challenges which the country was already trying to overcome.
Pakistan, he said, is being targeted because of being a Muslim and third world state with nuclear weapons. When his attention was drawn towards statements by American presidential candidates about safety of Pakistan’s strategic assets and war on terror, Sadiq said none of the governments including the United States or the UK have ever expressed concern about security of our nuclear weapons. He said comments of politicians and academicians should not be over-emphasized.
The spokesman said the Indian Government was reflecting the factual position while expressing satisfaction over security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. Pakistan, he said, would deal with any government that comes into power following presidential elections in the USA. Pakistan-US relationship is very important not only for the two countries but also for peace and stability of the whole region. He said Pakistan is part of the international struggle against terrorism.
Replying to questions about credibility of next elections in Pakistan, the spokesman said it has been assured at the highest level that elections would be very transparent, fair and peaceful. Pakistan stands by that commitment to conduct elections in a free and fair manner, he added.
To a question the spokesman said negotiations on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project are in advance stage but he was not aware of any summit level meeting on the matter.-SANA