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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Maintenance of N. deterrence indispensable for country's defence: Abdul Sattar


Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar on Jan. 12 said maintenance of nuclear deterrence is indispensable for the defence and security of the country. The Government is determined to maintain and develop Pakistan's nuclear capability in order to ensure a credible and reliable deterrence against manifest threats to its security, he said according to a statement issued by Foreign Office here. Sattar has argued in favour of development of credible deterrence capability in all his writings and statements both before and after he assumed his present office, said the statement. There is no warrant for emotionalizing the debate on the CTBT, which may not even come into force. He protested about the charge of "treason" against those who support the signing of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in the on-going debate in the country on the issue. He did not, in any way, question the integrity and patriotism of Qazi Hussain Ahmad Saheb, Amir Jamaat Islami, for whom he cherishes abiding respect, as he informed Qazi Saheb in his letter of January 10, 2000. Nor did he make any comment in any conversation on the stance of Jamaat Islami prior to 1947.

As the Foreign Minister said in his statement of January 4, "we need to understand what this treaty is and what it is not. The nation should discuss and debate the merits. Only thus, he believes, can we rise above slogans to a higher and more sophisticated level of understanding of the requirements of our national interest". As the Foreign Minister explained in his analysis on January 4, 2000, the CTBT aims at and exclusively at the prohibition of further nuclear test explosions. It has no bearing whatsoever on the existing strategic arsenals or even their enlargement. When and if the CTBT comes into force, every state will be bound to refrain from conducting any nuclear test explosions. If, before the treaty comes into force, another state conducts a test explosion, Pakistan too will have the option to do so irrespective of whether it has signed the treaty or not, said the FO statement.

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