Pakistani PM condemns anti-nuclear "propaganda"

Pakistani PM condemns anti-nuclear "propaganda"

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Thursday condemned "a propaganda onslaught" against Pakistan and its nuclear programme, Xinhua reported.

He said such baseless, and certainly motivated, campaign against Pakistan will neither deter the government from proceeding ahead sure-footed with strategic programme nor succeed in undermining the national will.

Addressing the meeting of the National Command Authority, the Prime Minister said the U.S. unilateral raid to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad city and attack on the country's major naval air station in Karachi had raised concerns on the safety and security of the country's strategic assets.

"The strategic programme forms the core of our National Security paradigm. The Pakistan Armed Forces, and in fact the whole nation, takes its responsibility for national defense as a sacred duty. No one should ever underestimate our capability and resolve in this regard," he said.

Gilani said that concerns have also been expressed internationally over potential threats from non-state actors to the security of Pakistan's strategic assets and facilities.

"Our detractors are working over time to malign Pakistan as well as our nuclear and strategic assets. We must remain firm in our resolve to tide over these challenges. Promoting and protecting national interests of Pakistan is a sacred responsibility and we will never fail in this noble duty," he said.

He said media reports have speculated on the possibility of sabotage and existence of contingency plans to take over Pakistan' s nuclear assets. "Any such nefarious designs shall be thwarted effectively by the armed forces with full support of the people of Pakistan," Gilani said.

He said Pakistan's strategic programme is for national defense and deterrence, adding Pakistan has not and will never pursue an aggressive nuclear posturing or misadventure.

"At the same time, we will take all necessary measures to ensure the reliability and credibility of our minimum nuclear deterrence." He rejected policies of discrimination and selectivity, which are not only inimical to Pakistan's national interests but also do no service to the realization of non- proliferation goals.

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