Pakistan rules out change in nuke policy, cites India threat

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Pakistan has trumpeted the India threat as a key reason for not cutting down its nuclear arsenal. In latest remarks, Islamabad has ruled out any change in its ‘dynamic’ nuclear policy, citing India’s rapid military modernisation. Pakistan dismissed the US request to reduce its nuke stockpile, a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Pakistan to review its policy of increasing nuclear stockpile, which is currently among the fastest in the world.

Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Affairs Advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, admitted that the nuclear issue was one of the major issues that the US and Pakistan differed on. However, Mr Aziz said that the issue of nuclear weapons is a concern to the US, because non-proliferation is an important agenda for the White House. 

“In terms of the safety and security of nuclear weapons command and control system, we have made outstanding progress. Globally, all the international agencies and the U.S. have acknowledged that Pakistan has developed a very good system for the safety for export control, and command and control system,” Mr Aziz said during an interaction at the Council on Foreign Relations in the US on 2 March. “But the (American) concern remains. Our nuclear capacity is a deterrent against Indian capacity. Deterrent is not a static concept. It is a dynamic concept. If your adversary goes on expanding its capacity, then you have to respond,” Mr Aziz said.

“We keep insisting in our relationship that India is the independent variable in this. We are the dependent variable. So if India were to restrain and U.S. would not increase its strategic and conventional imbalance between the two countries, then our task would become easier,” Mr Aziz said.

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