ISLAMABAD, Sept 3: President Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Wednesday that the country’s nuclear programme had “matured” and there was no possibility of its freezing or rollback.

“The [nuclear] programme has matured over the years and it will continue to receive top national priority,” he said, while presiding over a meeting of the National Command Authority at Rawalpindi. Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri and services chiefs attended the meeting.

An official announcement quoted President Musharraf as having told the meeting that Pakistan would not enter into arms race with anyone while ensuring consolidation of its minimum deterrence needs. He said that ensuring qualitative upgrades in the country’s nuclear programme, would fortify national security.

The programme, he said, had matured over the years and would continue to receive top national priority. He dismissed any talk of freeze or rollback as “irrelevant, outdated and totally false”.

The president condemned the “inspired and malicious campaign in a section of the international media regarding Pakistan’s alleged assistance to Iran.”

He recalled Pakistan’s strong non-proliferation record and reiterated commitments to universal non-proliferation goals.

The NCA reviewed progress of Pakistan’s strategic programme and expressed satisfaction over the operational readiness of strategic forces and pace of development work.

The meeting gave approval to a number of recommendations put forward by the strategic plans division. The NCA comprises two committees: employment control committee and development control committee. The strategic plans division acts as its secretariat.

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