Report on N-assets mischievous and absurd: Gen Majid

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Tariq Majid has dismissed as ‘absurd and plain mischievous’ a report by American journalist Seymour Hersh published in The New Yorker about alleged vulnerability of Pakistan’s nuclear assets and facilities.

He said Pakistan did not need any foreign help to guard its nuclear facilities because they were already well protected.

On Sunday, Foreign Office rejected the report and said it amounted to ‘nothing more than a concoction to tarnish the image of Pakistan and create misgivings among its people’.

General Tariq Majid said in a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations: ‘We have operationalised a very effective nuclear security regime which incorporates very stringent custodial and access controls’.

The statement said: ‘As overall custodian of the development of our strategic programme, I reiterate in very unambiguous terms that there is absolutely no question of sharing or allowing any foreign individual, entity or a state, any access to sensitive information about our nuclear assets. Our engagement with other countries through the International Atomic Energy Agency or bilaterally is to learn more about best practices for security of such assets and are based on two clearly spelt-out red lines —non intrusiveness and our right to pick and choose.’

Gen Majid added: ‘Also, our security apparatus has the capacity and is fully geared to meet all conceivable challenges, therefore we do not need to negotiate with any other country to physically augment our security forces, which in any case, we believe, are more capable than their forces.’

Commenting on the question raised through an article headlined ‘Pakistan nuclear security plan: How much does US really know?’, Gen Majid said: ‘Only as much as they can guess and nothing more’.

Another senior security official said there should be no doubt about the security of nuclear assets. ‘Our nuclear assets are not lying in a showcase that somebody will come and take it away.’

He said the foolproof mechanism was capable of thwarting any internal or external threat to the nuclear assets.

AFP adds: Larry Schwartz, a spokesman at the US embassy in Islamabad, said on Sunday that ‘the United States had no intention to seize Pakistani nuclear weapons or material.

‘Pakistan is a key ally in our common effort to fight violent extremists and foster regional security.’

Courtesy – DAWN NEWS

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