Pak ready to phase out nuclear weapons if India does too: Haqqani

May 23rd, 2009 - 3:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 23 (ANI): Pakistan has said that it is ready to phase out its nuclear weapons if India too agrees to do the same.

Terming Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal as a ‘deterrent’ against India, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani said Islamabad is willing to ink an accord with New Delhi in order to destroy the nukes possessed by the two neighboring countries.

“Pakistan is willing to engage with our neighbour for a comprehensive settlement in which the nuclear weapons can be phased out by both countries,” The News quoted Haqqani, as saying.

Haqqani, who appeared on a US television to appeal to US citizens to help the thousands of people displaced in the Swat Valley, dismissed fears about Pakistan’s nuclear armaments falling into the hands of the extremists saying the nukes were in safe custody.

“Everybody in the US Government who knows anything about nuclear weapons knows that Pakistan has a very secure nuclear programme. It’s a very limited nuclear programme to maintain deterrence vis-a-vis our neighbor,” Haqqani said.

He also refuted reports that said that Islamabad is rapidly adding to its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

“Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are safe and Pakistan is not going to expand nuclear weapons capability to a point when it becomes a threat to any country in the world, including our neighbours,” Haqqani said.

Assuring the United States that Pakistan’s nukes were not a threat to it, he said the real threat to America originates from Afghanistan or from parts of Pakistan.

“I don’t think Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are a threat to the United States. I think the threat to the United States right now comes from terrorists that might be in Afghanistan or in parts of Pakistan,and Pakistan is doing a great job fighting those terrorists right now,” he added. (ANI)

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