WASHINGTON: The US Defence Intelligence Agency Chief Lt General Vincent R Steward has said that Pakistan will continue development of new delivery systems including cruise missiles and close-range battlefield nuclear weapons to augment its existing ballistic missiles.
“Pakistan continues to take steps to improve security of its nuclear arsenal. We anticipate that Pakistan will continue development of new delivery systems, including cruise missiles and close-range ‘battlefield’ nuclear weapons to augment its existing ballistic missiles,” Stewart said while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, a standing committee of the US House of Representatives.
The Pakistani armed forces began a full-fledged military operation Zarb-e-Azb in the country’s volatile northwestern tribal region again various outlawed militant groups last year in the wake of the June 8 attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.
Stewart said that Pakistan army ground operations in North Waziristan agency have cleared anti-state militants from most population centers.
“We expect the military will continue targeting remaining militant strongholds in 2015,” he said.
The Pakistani military sped up its efforts against militants following the December 16 in Peshawar army public school attack that killed more than 130 innocent children. In addition, the country’s political and military leadership also adopted a 20-point anti-terror national action plan which included among others establishment of military courts and counter-terrorism special force.
The US defence intelligence agency chief said that the Pakistani government and military are also working together to implement the national action plan against terrorism.
“Despite ongoing military operations, Pakistan will continue to face internal security threats from militant, sectarian, and separatist groups. Additionally, Pakistan remains concerned about ISIL outreach and propaganda in South Asia,” he said.