Pakistan not oblivious to Indian nuclear threat: Gilani

June 22nd, 2009 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, June 22 (IANS) Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the dangers posed by India’s nuclear weapons but its own programme was “purely of defensive nature”, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani declared Monday.
Pakistan’s emphasis on nuclear energy for peaceful purposes had shifted towards concerns for national security when India detonated a nuclear device in 1974, Gilani said while addressing scientists at the Quaid-e-Azam University’s National Centre for Physics here.

“Pakistan could not afford to remain oblivious to this ominous development and grave threat to its security. Pakistan perforce had to opt for developing a matching response to the Indian nuclear threat,” APP news agency quoted him as saying.

“Our nuclear programme is purely of defensive nature,” Gilani added, maintaining that Pakistan had no aggressive designs against any country and remained committed to peaceful co-existence with its neighbours.

Supporting the objectives of nuclear non-proliferation, he said the developing and smaller nations must be given unhindered access to nuclear energy for civilian purposes to grapple with the issues of poverty, deprivation and backwardness.

In this context, he regretted that the international community adopted a discriminatory posture towards Pakistan in the form of political and diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions and failed to appreciate Pakistan’s concern for security when it first tested a nuclear device in 1998 soon after India had done so.

Gilani lauded the scientists of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) for exhibiting unparalleled commitment and dedication to the national cause against heavy odds and achieving nuclear parity with India.

“The Pakistani nation will ever remain grateful and indebted to the scientists of PAEC for their achievement in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as well as the nuclear weapons programme,” the prime minister maintained.

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