Jan 30, 2014, 12:05 PM
News Code: 2626845
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Pakistan rejects NYT story on nuclear security

Islamabad, Jan 30, IRNA - Pakistan has rejected a New York Times report about insecurity of its nuclear program and said Islamabad observes the best safety practices of nuclear safety record since long.

The NYT has reported the risk that President Barack Obama may be forced to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year has set off concerns inside the US intelligence agencies that they could lose their air bases used for drone strikes against al-Qaeda in Pakistan and for responding to a nuclear crisis in the region.

Commenting on the NYT story captioned "Afghanistan Exit Is Seen as Peril to C.I.A. Drone Mission", the Spokesperson, Tasnim Aslam expressed regret at yet another manifestation of a clichéd theme, conjuring up baseless scenarios.

“Pakistan follows best practices and standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency. It has an impeccable record of safely operating nuclear power plants for over forty years,” she said in a statement.

She said the timing of this story, purportedly based on briefings by anonymous US officials, is rather intriguing, coming, as it did, on the eve of the Ministerial level review of the Strategic Dialogue between Pakistan and the United States in Washington.

“The contents and drift of the story contradict the expression of desire by senior members of the US Administration to develop an enduring partnership with Pakistan on the basis of mutual trust and mutual respect.”

The spokesperson said such tendentious reporting is also at variance with the confidence expressed by US leaders and officials in the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

She underscored the fact that Pakistan has both the will and the capacity to thwart all threats to its nuclear assets.

"This clarity of purpose is underpinned by national consensus on the indispensability of a credible minimum nuclear deterrent to the strategic calculus of Pakistan," the spokesperson said.