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Commenting on the recent New York Times story captioned “Afghanistan Exit Is Seen as Peril to C.I.A. Drone Mission” authored by David Sanger and Eric Schmitt, the Spokesperson expressed regret at yet another manifestation of a clichéd theme, conjuring up baseless scenarios. Pakistan follows best practices and standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency. It has an impeccable record of safely operating nuclear power plants for over forty years.

The timing of this story, purportedly based on briefings by anonymous US officials, is rather intriguing, coming, as it did, on the eve of the Ministerial level review of the Strategic Dialogue between Pakistan and the United States in Washington. The contents and drift of the story contradict the expression of desire by senior members of the US Administration to develop an enduring partnership with Pakistan on the basis of mutual trust and mutual respect.

Such tendentious reporting is also at variance with the confidence expressed by US leaders and officials in the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

The Spokesperson underscored the fact that Pakistan has both the will and the capacity to thwart all threats to its nuclear assets. This clarity of purpose is underpinned by national consensus on the indispensability of a credible minimum nuclear deterrent to the strategic calculus of Pakistan.

29 January 2014

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