Pak vows to retain nuke arms

India concerned over increasing warheads

Yousuf Raza Gilani

“We are determined to retain nuclear deterrence at all cost and no compromise will be made on our core security interest,” Gilani was quoted as saying,  while chairing a meeting of the Strategic Planning Division at the PM House in Islamabad.

After a briefing on the qualitative upgrades to Pakistan’s nuclear programme, Gilani  appreciated the progress in the areas of development strategy and consolidation of force goals.

He expressed his government’s full support to the country’s strategic programme which was a vital component of Pakistan’s national security.

The prime minister’s advisor on finance Shaukat Tareen, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Tariq Majeed, Director- General SPD Lt Gen. (retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai and senior government officials attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor expressed his concern over reports of Pakistan’s efforts to increase the number of its nuclear warheads.

“If the media reports are to be believed, I am told the number (of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons) is limited to 60 but it is increasing. So definitely, that is matter for concern,” Kapoor told reporters on the sidelines of a function.

Pakistan is possibly supplementing or replacing its current uranium-based nuclear weapons arsenal with plutonium-based weapons that are more destructive and easily deliverable, a United States’ think tank had said on Thursday.

Kapoor also urged the global community to stop Pakistan’s attempts to expand its nuclear arsenal beyond what it required for deterrence.

“Even if Pakistan is looking at deterrence, they require a minimum amount. But when you keep increasing it, it is a matter of concern.... I think the world community should put the kind of pressure that is required for Pakistan to cap their nuclear weapons,” he said.

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