New York: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that the country has access to short-range nuclear weapons and will use it to counter the Indian Army.
Abbasi was also assertive of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals being safe and secure.
“We have a very robust and secure command-and-control system over our strategic nuclear assets. Time has proved that it’s a process that is very secure. It’s a process that has complete civilian oversight through the NCA,” Abbasi said in response to a question at the Council on Foreign Relations, a top American think-tank.
Abbasi’s declaration comes amid North Korea’s escalating threats of nuclear warfare, which has been condemned by leaders across the world.
The Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) of Pakistan is the authority responsible for command, control and operational decisions regarding the country’s nuclear arsenals.
The council Moderator David Sanger said Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world.
“There’s no nuclear arsenal in the world that is growing faster. And there’s no nuclear arsenal in the world, other than North Korea’s, that tends to worry American more because they worry about the safety of the arsenal. They worry about the command and control of the arsenal,” Sanger said.
Abbasi said that the command-and-control systems they have in place are as secure as anybody else’s in the world.
“The last 20 years are testament to that,” Abbasi said in response to another question.
“We do have nuclear capability. There’s no doubt about that. And we know how to handle nuclear waste. We had a nuclear program in the early ’60s, one of the first countries in Asia to have a nuclear program. So if we’ve managed it for over 50-odd years, I think we can continue to manage it,” he said.