Pakistan calls its nuke arms expansion claim "unnecessary alarmist reporting"

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 02, 2011 06:40 hrs

Pakistan has dismissed as "unnecessary alarmist reporting" that it has steadily expanded its nuclear arsenal, and the number of its deployed weapons now ranges from the mid-90s to over 110.

Responding to reports that Pakistan was increasing its nuclear stockpiles, the Foreign Office said it would continue to follow a responsible policy of maintaining credible minimum deterrence.

"Pakistan is mindful of the need to avoid arms race with India but would never compromise on its national security," The Express Tribune quoted a Foreign Office spokesman, as saying, while responding to an article in The New York Times titled "Pakistani Nuclear Arms Pose Challenge to US Policy."

The Washington Post had also reported that according to estimates by nongovernmental analysts, Pakistan had significantly accelerated the production of uranium and plutonium for bombs and developed new weapons to deliver them.

It also said that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal had "now edged ahead of India, its nuclear-armed rival."

However, a statement by Pakistan's Foreign Office said: "In the nuclearized environment of South Asia, Pakistan continues to attach importance to ensuring peace, security and stability in South Asia and was mindful of the adverse implications of 'selectivity and exceptionalism in evidence on issues of nuclear non-proliferation'."

It also said Pakistan had consistently advocated the need to resume the stalled Pakistan-India dialogue, including talks on issues of peace and security.

"In this context, Pakistan's proposal for strategic restraint regime in South Asia, including nuclear and conventional forces as well as resolution of all issues and disputes, is of extreme importance," the statement added. (ANI)

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