RAWALPINDI: Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Friday paid a visit to Pakistan’s Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Security (PCENS) and expressed confidence over the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.
"Pakistan has taken measures, including setting up of the PCENS, to strengthen its nuclear security," said the COAS.
Interacting with officers and troops at the PCENS, the chief added that nuclear security is a sacred responsibility and lauded the progress the institution has made after its establishment.
General Raheel Sharif also stated that Pakistan has also offered the PCENS as a regional and international hub for imparting education and training in the field of nuclear security to the international community.
Earlier, the army chief was received by Lieutenant General Mazhar Jamil, Director General Strategic Plans Division (DG-SPD)
Since its establishment, PCENS has conducted several national and international training courses focusing on physical protection, personal reliability as well as safety and security of nuclear and radioactive materials and facilities.
Earlier in September, Director General (DG) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano praised Pakistan’s impressive nuclear security record.
He had stated that Pakistan attached the highest priority to nuclear safety and security as a national responsibility and that all of Pakistan’s nuclear power plants and research reactors were under IAEA safeguards, adding that Pakistan was fully meeting its obligations in this regard.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had also stated in September that Pakistan would continue to maintain minimum nuclear deterrence for security purposes, but that these weapons are 'not against any one".
The National Command Authority (NCA) has 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.
Earlier, according to reports published by two American think tanks which claimed that 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.
The report cited analysts as saying that Pakistan possesses around 120 nuclear warheads as compared to India's 100. The report concluded by saying that Pakistan could have at least 350 nuclear weapons within five to 10 years.