Pakistan dismisses report on nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Middle EastPakistan dismisses report on nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office has said that Pakistan strongly rejects the British media report about nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia as entirely baseless and mischievous.

On Wednesday, BBC Newsnight claimed to have been told by a variety of sources that Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will.

   

“Pakistan is responsible nuclear weapon state with robust command and control structure and comprehensive export controls,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said while reacting to the report.

The spokesman said “Pakistan supports objectives of non-proliferation as well as nuclear safety and security.”

“Pakistan’s nuclear programme is purely for its own legitimate self-defence and maintenance of a credible‚ minimum deterrence.”

The FO spokesman further said that US President Barack Obama in a joint statement with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Washington last month also appreciated Pakistan’s constructive engagements with the nuclear security summit process and its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international forums.

The spokesman said President Obama also acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to improve its strategic trade controls and enhance its engagement with multi-lateral export regime.

Chaudhry said‚ in the statement‚ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for the universal objectives of non-proliferation and disarmament.

BBC further said in its report that Saudi Arabia has given generous financial assistance to Pakistan’s defense sector, including its missile and nuclear labs.

Visits by the then Saudi defense minister Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud to the Pakistani nuclear research centre in 1999 and 2002 underlined the closeness of the defense relationship, the BBC said.

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