No plan to roll back nuclear programme: Pak

The Pakistan People's Party-led government will not compromise on the country's defence and sovereignty, he said in the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament.

"The PPP is the creator of our nuclear programme and there is no question of its rollback or capping," Awan said, commenting on the Sovereignty of Pakistan Bill that was moved by some lawmakers for the "preservation, protection and assertion of Pakistan."
"We shall maintain a minimum capable deterrence as a responsible Islamic nuclear state," he said.

The sovereignty of Pakistan is guaranteed in the preamble of the Constitution and the government is prepared to discuss the bill, he said.

Awan also assured Parliament that the government will protect the aerial and territorial sovereignty of Pakistan. "We have been doing this in the past and shall continue doing it in future as well," he said.

Speaking on the objectives of the Sovereignty of Pakistan Bill, opposition PML-Q parliamentarian Sheikh Waqas Akram said it covers key issues regarding the sovereignty of the country in a situation when visiting foreign functionaries are apparently poised to interfere in Pakistan's internal affairs.

Under the bill, the President will have to certify that any agreement or understanding with foreign countries will not compromise Pakistan's sovereignty and its nuclear capability will be safe, Akram said.

He said the President will also have to certify that no agreement or treaty affects the chain of command and promotions in armed forces.

Responding to Akram's comments, Awan said there is a laid down procedure and chain of command for promotions and appointments in the armed forces.
"Our government has always exercised power on merit and has not hidden any step or agreement from the nation," he said.

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