Pakistan says no foreign access to strategic nuclear assets

April 18th, 2008 - 12:31 am ICT by admin  

Islamabad, April 17 (Xinhua) Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Thursday said the government would not give any foreign country access to its strategic nuclear assets. “These are national assets and there will be no compromise on the issue,” Qureshi told a news conference here.

Earlier media reports said that the US State Department had sought direct access to Pakistan’s Nuclear Command Authority by posting an officer at the US embassy in Islamabad to liaise with the body that controls the country’s nuclear arsenal.

The News Network International quoted Qureshi as saying that no foreign officials would be given any sort of access to the country ’s nuclear assets. “National interests come first,” Qureshi said.

The foreign ministry Wednesday said that there was no system to accredit foreign officials with the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), the tri-services body that maintains the nuclear arsenal and functions as the NCA which comprises the president, prime minister, foreign minister, defence minister and top civil and military officials.

Decisions on the use of atomic weapons will be made by the NCA, the actual launch of the weapons is the responsibility of the SPD.

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