N-weapons cornerstone of Pakistan’s deterrence: Gilani

May 29th, 2009 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad/New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are the cornerstone of its deterrence and there is complete national consensus on this, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani maintained Friday.
“We are determined to retain nuclear deterrence at all cost and no compromise will be made on our core security interest,” APP news agency quoted him as saying while chairing a meeting of the Strategic Planning Division (SPD) 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.

In New Delhi, Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor Friday 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 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 US think tank said 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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