Pakistan slams Biden's comment on nuke safety, summons envoy - GulfToday

Pakistan slams Biden's comment on nuke safety, summons envoy


Shahbaz Sharif addresses media. File

Pakistan on Saturday summoned the US ambassador for an explanation after President Joe Biden described the South Asian country as "one of the most dangerous nations in the world" and questioned its nuclear weapons' safety protocols.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday hit back at US President Joe Biden for calling Pakistan "one of the most dangerous nations in the world" while raising doubts over the country's nuclear security, media reports said.

In a tweet from his official handle, Shahbaz 'unequivocally reiterated' that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state, adding that the country's nuclear assets have the best safeguards as per International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requirements, Express Tribune reported.

In a separate statement issued by the PM House, Sharif termed the US President's remarks as 'factually incorrect and misleading', the report said.

"Over the past decades, Pakistan has proven be a most responsible nuclear state, wherein its nuclear programme is managed through a technically sound and foolproof command and control system.

"Pakistan has also consistently demonstrated responsible stewardship of its nuclear-weapons capability, marked by a very strong commitment to global standards, including those of IAEA on non-proliferation, safety and security," the statement said.

"Pakistan and the US have a long history of friendly and mutually beneficial relationship. At a time, when the world is confronted by huge global challenges, it is critically important that genuine and durable efforts are made to recognise the real potential of Pakistan-US relationship, while avoiding unnecessary comments," Shahbaz was quoted as saying.

Earlier, Biden had said that Pakistan may be "one of the most dangerous nations in the world" as the country has "nuclear weapons without any cohesion".

"And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion," Biden was quoted as saying in a transcript of the address published on the White House's website.

Hours after the transcript of his address was posted, Pakistan summoned the US ambassador Donald Blome to the foreign office in Islamabad.

Former Pakistan premier and PTI Chair Imran Khan has held the incumbent government responsible for the controversial statement by Biden about Pakistan's nuclear programme, terming it a failure of the "imported" government's foreign policy, media reports said.

"With the Foreign Office yet to issue an official response to Biden's remarks," the former premier said in a tweet that the federal government has broken all records of incompetence, The News reported.

Terming the US President's comments an "unwarranted conclusion" of Pakistan's nuclear programme, he asked about the information Biden got to make such a statement on the country's capability, and added: "... having been PM, I know we have one of the most secure nuclear command & control systems."


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