Source: Daily Times
* Spokesperson says no one should ‘underestimate’ Pakistan’s capability to defend its national interests
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday described as “pure fiction” a US media report about possible American plans to secure the country’s nuclear arsenal in the event of any extremist threat, saying no one should “underestimate” its capability to defend its national interests.
A statement issued by Foreign Office Spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said the article “The Ally From Hell” in The Atlantic journal was “baseless and motivated”.
“The surfacing of such campaigns is not something new. It is orchestrated by quarters that are inimical to Pakistan,” the statement said.
Writers Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder wrote that Pakistan is “an obvious place” for militants to seek nuclear weapons or materials because of a weak government and infiltration of its security forces by jihadist sympathisers.
But Pakistan, the article said, is more concerned about American designs on its nuclear arsenal and goes to great lengths to conceal its weapons.
The United States has spent almost $100 million helping secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, and appropriated almost $20 billion in civilian and military aid since the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in a bid to secure Pakistan’s allegiance in the US-led war in neighbouring Afghanistan.
The article said US officials have grown increasingly disenchanted with Pakistan efforts to root out sympathisers on its territory, particularly after the May 2 raid by American special forces on Abbottabad.