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Nawaz says Pakistan will continue to maintain minimum nuclear deterrence for security purposes. —Courtesy Photo
Nawaz says Pakistan will continue to maintain minimum nuclear deterrence for security purposes. —Courtesy Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that Pakistan would continue to maintain minimum nuclear deterrence for security purposes, but that these weapons are 'not against any one".

The prime minister was briefed on the strategic and nuclear assets of the country during a meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) in the capital.

The meeting was held to discuss matters pertaining to national security and defence, Radio Pakistan reported.

Premier Nawaz chaired the meeting which was held at Joint Staff Headquarters (JSHQ) in Chaklala. He expressed satisfaction over the security and safety of nuclear weapons and observed that an efficient nuclear control and command system is in place.

The premier was given a comprehensive briefing by the Director General Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Lt-Gen Mazhar Jamil, who said that a security force of 30,000 is protecting the nuclear arsenal.

The NCA meeting was attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Advisor to the PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood and three services chiefs.

The NCA stated that Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state will remain actively engaged with the international community on nuclear stability and security issues, and expressed satisfaction on Pakistan’s enhanced outreach with the multilateral export control regimes.

Pakistan shares the goals of non-proliferation and is committed to play its due role as a mainstream partner in the global non-proliferation regimes, reiterated the NCA.

The NCA meeting held today also renewed Pakistan’s interest in the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), as the country possesses the requisite credentials for full access to civil nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, particularly to meet its energy shortages.

DG Inter-Services Public Relations Major Asim Bajwa said that the sacrifices made during Operation Zarb-i-Azb and the success of the operation were also acknowledged during the NCA meeting,

He said the NCA reiterated national resolve to maintain full-spectrum deterrence capability in line with the dictates of 'credible minimum deterrence' in order to dissuade all forms of aggression and adhere to a policy of avoiding an arms race.

He said Pakistan sought peace and strategic stability in South Asia as a cornerstone of its policy, and considered conflict resolution a means to achieve this goal.

According to reports published by two American think tanks, Pakistan could become the third largest nuclear stock pile within the next five to ten years ─ with at least 350 nuclear weapons ─ behind only the United States and Russia.

Pakistan currently possesses around 120 nuclear warheads as compared to India's 100, a report said.

Also read: Pakistan's nuclear stockpile could become world's third largest, says report

Comments (68) Closed

M.Saeed Sep 09, 2015 01:15pm

PM must ensure no loose talks on nuclear assets by the careless ministers.

Adnan Mazher Khan Sep 09, 2015 01:19pm


Dilawar Khan Sep 09, 2015 01:19pm

it's very dangerous and needs not be disclosed anymore..

AW Sep 09, 2015 01:32pm

It is not necessary to disclose such meetings in the press. There should be no public talk of nuclear assets.

Muhammad Usman Sep 09, 2015 01:42pm

Sensitive information should not be make public. Enemy can benefit from it.

Taimoor Khan Sep 09, 2015 01:56pm

Isnt it a security breech to allow some quite irrelevant people to a meeting of such highly sensitive nature. I mean what Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar got to do with country nuke program? Saad Rafique is actually no longer member of parliament after being de-seated.

Salman Sep 09, 2015 02:33pm

Press release on such issues are suppose to be comprising minimum facts .

Imran Soomro Sep 09, 2015 03:14pm

If this arms race is to be dealt with sincerity then the US, Israel and France must stop selling enhanced weaponry to India.

Pakistani Sep 09, 2015 03:31pm

Build more schools,hospitals,universities,post offices,homes for poor people. Why need 120 ( still increasing) nukes for India(obviously) when you maximum need only 10 to threat a big country but you will never use it anyway.

Arafat Baloch Sep 09, 2015 03:46pm

The arm race would be resulted at a drastic end. We must be 3rd in education, good health and other welfare programs.

Another Pakistani Sep 09, 2015 03:57pm


Certainly we need schools, hospitals, industries and jobs. But is only possible if we can defend ourselves. We hear our enemies threatening to further divide us into four more parts after having publicly boasting their role in separating Bangladesh.

As far as how many nukes are required, my humble advise is that if you are not a doctor then do not try to treat patients. I hope you will get the drift of my statement.

Timeto stopthis Sep 09, 2015 04:06pm

No food, power or education but plenty of nuclear weapons. Lot of prosperity they are bringing to Pakistan.

Aslam Sep 09, 2015 04:09pm

however, Pakistan being nuclear power has successfully maintains balance of power. Regional adversaries with accelerative military strength and offensive military doctrines always pose serious threats for the survivability of Pakistan. By looking at the changing international and regional security environment it is essential for Pakistan to secure its territorial integrity, sovereignty both internally and externally. Nuclear weapons in this regard, play a vital role.

salim Sep 09, 2015 04:10pm

that's like a statesman... hats off.. scores above modi

shank Sep 09, 2015 04:16pm

@IMRAN SOOMRO, blaming Pakistan nukes on India is childish and is the root cause of all probems. If you want to compete with India why not compete in healthcare, education etc and ignore what happens outside. What you and others need is change of mindset.

Prakash Sep 09, 2015 04:25pm

It is a welcoming statement..

M. Siddique Sep 09, 2015 04:27pm

@AW, There is no harm in talking about these meetings. It projects that civilian and military leadership is on the same page and enemies should NOT have any other ideas. Moreover, there was nothing disclosed which people don't know.

M. Siddique Sep 09, 2015 04:28pm

@Muhammad Usman, What sensitive information did you get which we did not know. It is however good to know that nuclear assets are properly protected from wrong hands.

Dean Sep 09, 2015 04:28pm

@Imran Soomro , and what about China ? India would have to keep up the procurements as long as china aggressively tries to compete with US. So its a no beginner, China would seek parity with US, India with China, and Pakistan with India. So this is not going to stop.So finally economy matters.

Muslim Sep 09, 2015 04:33pm

People of Pakistan have time and again expressed reservations about some Ministers and their credibility regarding sensitive information. I am sure this must also be on the minds of the Military. However Saad Rafique and Khawja Asif must not have access to sensitive information relating to defence matters.

Saqib UK Sep 09, 2015 04:45pm

@Taimoor Khan these are trusted people of the PM and part of the inner circle.

Saqib UK Sep 09, 2015 04:46pm

No other country talks of state and security of nuclear assets in the public sphere. why are they giving state secrets away to the media like this.

Shakil Ahmed Khan Sep 09, 2015 05:11pm

Pakistan's nuclear arsenal 'not against anyone' - yea right they are for showcase only!

Asif Sep 09, 2015 05:27pm

So, what was a railways minister doing at this meeting??

ahmed Sep 09, 2015 05:55pm

A bit strange telling the world how many soldiers guarding your weapons why would u do that .

Muzaffar Ali Sep 09, 2015 05:56pm

Then it is for the EGO?

We are still poor, counted among the bottom of countries!

This is is argument against reality

niju gopalan Sep 09, 2015 06:16pm

thanks pm nawaz. only one suggestion. please don't increase your nuclear arsenal count...100-140 war heads are enough to safeguard the sovereignty of Pakistan.

PHILOSOPHER (from Japan) Sep 09, 2015 06:19pm the way PM what is the purpose than if we can't use in the case of per my knowledge we are not using it to make electricity as well which is a cheapest way to generate electricity. Japan uses alot of nuclear reactors despite a huge public pressure on 'Fukushima' power plant which was leaked in Tsunami in 2011.

Tahir A Sep 09, 2015 06:30pm

Once again he is right. The nuclear arsenal is not against anyone but to feed the millions of hungry citizens. and some of it for decorations.

TELLYOU ALL Sep 09, 2015 06:31pm

@salim Indian PM Modi has never uttered one single word on Nuclear arsenal that they possess. It's we who are chest beating this issue, thinking we should be proud of it, but the world is laughing. That's why this statement from PM NS.

lafanga Sep 09, 2015 06:37pm

Ok everyone relax. The meeting with civilian ministers in there was perhaps to show civil/military partnership BUT make no mistake, maintenance and security of Pakistan's nuclear assets is firmly in the hands of Pak army and I am sure they will not release any secret info to the likes of Ishaq Dar or Saad Rafique etc.

sana-1 Sep 09, 2015 06:37pm

No need disclose that we have a force of this and that numbers...keep it secret!

but i'm happy that we are looking forward for the membership NSG group....

khanm Sep 09, 2015 06:50pm

Pakistan's nuclear arsenal 'not against anyone': PM Nawaz... failed to understand the logic why we created them..the irony is we created them to protect us but now we are too busy to protect nuclear arsenal

Asit Ghosh, Mumbai Sep 09, 2015 06:59pm

This morning PM Modi had a 3 hour long meeting with captains of India's heavy industry and large banks on how to take advantage of the slowdown in Chinese economy. On the other hand, PM Nawaz Shariff had a long meeting with his minsters and army Generals on nukes and their safe keeping. It is a matter of diferring priorities, I guess.

sana-1 Sep 09, 2015 07:09pm

'not against anyone'

The irony is that this statement is true for everyone except India....

MVK Sep 09, 2015 07:40pm

It is matter of pitty and clear display of ignorance that people are talking about using nuclear weapons. Whether India uses it or Pakistan, both will suffer. Considering size of India, a small fraction of people and land may still survive. But think of Pakistan.Time to stop chest thumping and focus of development and progress.

Muzaffar Ali Sep 09, 2015 07:58pm

I am a Nuclear Power

When I need money I go to the IMF

Imran K Sep 09, 2015 08:05pm

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that Pakistan would continue to maintain minimum nuclear deterrence for security purposes, but that these weapons are 'not against any one". But against India!

AKNasser Sep 09, 2015 08:05pm

Come on Barray MianSahib, tell it as it is - Nuclear arsenal is not against Afghanistan, Iran but against our neighbour on eastern border. You know it and eastern border neighbour knows it because they have the same policy.

Pakistani Sep 09, 2015 08:07pm

We spending now huge amount to safeguard these arsenals ultimately losing out on finance.

SaracenBlade Sep 09, 2015 08:08pm

Mr. Sharif , when it comes to nuclear assets, better follow Israel's policy - don't admit, don't deny, keep your neighbours confused.

A.vjed Iban Sep 09, 2015 08:10pm

@AW Agree, Agree, Agree.


Progressing Sep 09, 2015 08:20pm

Although I agree we need to build more schools and deal with our energy crisis but I also understand the need to keep up with the security of our beloved country,we simply cannot fall behind,having said that,we must continue to be responsible in this regard and I have no doubt that our armed forces,30,000 strong,will continue to safe guard the arsenal.

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali Sep 09, 2015 09:03pm

Yes, Mr. Shareef. The bomb is for any & every one who wants to destroy Pakistan.

Atam Vetta Sep 09, 2015 09:09pm

There seems to some confusion among commentators. India is NOW not buying arms from the USA, Israel, France or Britain. The Congress Govt. was discussing the purchase of 130 (or more) planes from France. Modi cut it down to about 30. The latest news is that even the order for 30 planes is in jeopardy. It is now 'Make in India'. Any country that wants to make in India is welcome and all countries mentioned above are queuing up.

asad LATEEF Sep 09, 2015 09:10pm

@Asit Ghosh, Mumbai you don't have a clue why china slow down its international economic magazines and you will know the myth of this artificial jolt.

Azhar Sep 09, 2015 09:19pm

The big mouth ministers, ex. President and Mr. Sertaj Aziz must be very careful, Pakistan could be sensored. It is not a artificial toy, you wave. Word is aware and also India. You are giving unfair advantage to your enemy just to score points.

Zubair Sep 09, 2015 09:25pm

The enemy already knows about the nuclear assets. India can destroy the assets if she wants. The real thing to be discussed is why are we building so many expensive nukes when we only need around 50 for deterrence against India. For god's sake, the army should spend this money on educating our illiterate people and create more jobs.

Azhar Sep 09, 2015 09:52pm

@Taimoor Khan agree, but they are national heros!!!!

baaji Sep 09, 2015 09:52pm

After his meeting with US reps,he seem to be speaking sense.

Sonny Afridi Sep 09, 2015 09:57pm

Purely a cosmetic gesture. Our nuclear weapons only exist because a rambunctious neighbor began the arms race. We merely answered. Our nukes are aimed at a hostile country that itself has nuclear weapons. The deterrence value is invaluable. At the same time, our conventional infrastructure assets and manpower are enough to defend Pakistan from external threat. The enemy learned that especially in 1965.

Pervaiz Mahmood Sep 09, 2015 10:01pm

Enough on the nuclear weapons. How about talking peace and focusing on internal problems. A nuclear war would destroy Pakistan as India is much bigger and stronger. Now focus on keeping these away from terrorists who may have infiltrated the armed forces.

Mustafa Sep 09, 2015 10:08pm

@Timeto stopthis;

Bangladesh does not have any nuclear weapons, how prosperous are they?

KL Sep 09, 2015 10:25pm

30,000 guarding nukes. This is how USSR destroyed itself. We need education not more toys for boys.

Saeed Masood Sep 09, 2015 11:46pm

This enough and for a very very long time..we must not discuss these nuclear matters in public...the government officials and the ministers should not make any balanced or unbalanced statements on this subject..having said that the media and press should also purge this issue from their radars, after this meeting TV talk shows like Capital talk and Shahzeb should not start discussing these matters in public.

venkob Sep 10, 2015 12:27am

@Sonny Afridi I agree to most part but the last line is conflicts with what you said. Pak and India did not have NBs in 1965. If the reason for arms race is India, Pak doesn't need anything more than 10 to protect itself. The best thing is that the technology is not transferred (yet?) to other countries

anon Sep 10, 2015 12:54am


"Bangladesh does not have any nuclear weapons, how prosperous are they?"

They are becoming a lot more prosperous and progressive compared to Pakistan in every field- economics, social indicators, education and global respect.... The BD economic and social indicator gulf with Pakistan is widening every year.

rao Sep 10, 2015 01:35am

Both India and Pakistan posses second strike nuclear capability. Its better not to fuel the ongoing border skirmishes by war of words and instigate the use of assets. A true catastrophe that will be.

Nadeem Jamali Sep 10, 2015 02:12am

In other words, it is against everyone. In particular, it is against the people of Pakistan, the majority of whom live miserable lives as a result. National security at the expense of the nation's citizens. And now it seems that the nukes are the nation being secured by tens of thousands! What a country. How could an enemy treat Pakistan's citizens any worse?

techwiz Sep 10, 2015 03:06am

yeah right' not against anyone' but they like to show it off every now and then and pass comments like 'these weapons are not for shab e baraat'.. Their own NSA chooses to flash their 'nuclear might' time and again....but again....not that their weapons are against anybody....hypocrisy at its best.

Annie Sep 10, 2015 03:35am

Good for Pakistan

Ahmed Sep 10, 2015 03:58am

with all due respect Mr. Prime Minister we need ROTI KAPRRA & MAKAAN

Tamilselvan Sep 10, 2015 04:02am

Mature and responsible statement from a PM where jokers from both sides have made irresponsible remarks

rajeev Sep 10, 2015 05:07am

Very sensible and mature statement.

Irfan Asim Sep 10, 2015 05:39am

Good to hear about our Nuclear Arsenal. and why shouldn't we talk about it in public especially when India is discussing to impose limited war on Pakistan. Such news will not only calm them down but would compel them to stop under-estimating Pakistan.

Muhammed ali Sep 10, 2015 05:50am

He should stand up for once a say that we will use them if needed.....they are a deterrent and anyone who threatens us should be made aware that we if needed WILL USE THEM.

rama Sep 10, 2015 06:01am

@Imran Soomro

What is the logic for Pakistan to buy 8 submarine which is not sea faring nation and less than 100o mile coast. Clean your back before pointing others !!!

Mehta Sep 10, 2015 08:20am

A nuclear talk a day keeps sanity away.