Pakistan not adding to its nuclear arsenal: Zardari

May 10th, 2009 - 11:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 10 (IANS) Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday said Islamabad is not adding to its nuclear arsenal as it does not need any more, but it would not disclose the location of its weapons to the US.

Pakistan is “not adding to our stockpile as such”, Zardari said on NBC’s Meet the Press programme. “Why do we need more?”

Asked if Pakistan would tell US intelligence officials where all its nuclear weapons are located, to allow for a joint strategy to keep them secure, Zardari said Pakistan is a sovereign country.

“Why don’t you do the same with other countries yourself?” he said. “I think this is a sovereignty issue, and we have a right to our own sovereignty.”

Speaking separately on Fox News Sunday, US regional commander General David Petraeus expressed confidence that Pakistan’s nuclear sites are secure from any attempted seizure by the Taliban.

“We have confidence in their security procedures,” the chief of US Central Command said when asked about Pakistan’s nuclear safeguards as the Taliban make deep inroads.

Zardari told NBC additional aid to Pakistan shouldn’t come with any conditions.

“I think it’s doubting an ally before you go into action together,” the Pakistani leader said.

“We should have a result-oriented relationship, where I should be given a timeline and I’ll give you all a timeline, so we can both give each other timelines and meet the timelines on the positive.”

Zardari said Pakistan has 135,000 ground troops battling the Taliban in the western part of country.

“We think they’re sufficient,” he said. Zardari said that’s three times as many troops as the US has fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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