Pakistan not to allow foreign powers access to n-facilities

April 18th, 2008 - 9:16 pm ICT by admin  

By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, April 18 (IANS) Reiterating that its nuclear programme was safe, Pakistan Friday said it would not allow representatives of the US or any other foreigners to attend National Command and Control Authority (NCCA) meetings. “Pakistan will not permit any access to anybody to its sensitive installations and the NCCA meeting,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi assured the National Assembly while contradicting media reports that the US was appointing an officer in Pakistan who will have direct access to the NCCA.

“There is nothing to be concerned. Neither any US official has asked to attend the NCCA meeting nor the government had allowed anybody,” he added.

Three legislators from the opposition benches in the lower house of parliament had drawn the minister’s attention towards placement of a permanent American official at the US Embassy in Pakistan to deal with Islamabad’s nuclear issues who would have direct access to the National Command Authority.

Qureshi said the government had received no such request from the US.

He said, “Pakistan’s nuclear programme is safe and in safe hands. There is a consensus in the nation that the nuclear programme is deeply related to national security.”

The members based their notice on a news item, he said, adding: “And I categorically rebut it and assure that Pakistan would manifest complete wisdom and self-respect in the matters of national defence and foreign policy.”

To a question about international concerns on Pakistan’s nuclear programme, the minister said: “We are following the best practices to address international concerns. The government had invited diplomats and briefed them to address their concerns.

“Our nuclear programme is secure and there is no need for any concern what so ever,” he added.

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