Nuclear deterrence maintains balance of power: Alvi

Published May 29, 2023
In this file photo, President Dr Arif Alvi gestures during an interview with journalist Asma Shirazi in October 2022. — screengrab
In this file photo, President Dr Arif Alvi gestures during an interview with journalist Asma Shirazi in October 2022. — screengrab

ISLAMABAD: As the nation observed the silver jubilee of Youm-i-Takbeer on Sunday, the president, prime minister and the armed forces paid rich tributes to the scientists, engineers, political and military leadership of the time, for a remarkable feat of achieving nuclear capability.

Youm-i-Takbeer is observed on May 28 to commemorate historic nuclear tests Pakistan conducted in 1998.

In his message, President Dr Arif Alvi said that on this day 25 years ago, responding to India’s nuclear tests, Pakistan carried out successful tests that was essential for maintaining the balance of power in the region.

“We must highly appreciate our political and military leadership that took wise decision at that time to achieve nuclear capability making defence of the country unassailable,” the president said.

On this day, he said, the entire nation paid tribute to the contributions of their eminent engineers and scientists who made Pakistan a nuclear power within a short period of time. He added that the entire nation was indebted to all those who played their part in making Pakistan the first Islamic nuclear power.

Prime minister, armed forces pay tribute to scientists, engineers and leadership

The president further said: “On this day, let us pledge to make Pakistan a stronger country by investing in the intellectual development of our people and strengthening our cyber-security to ensure our defence.”

Remarkable, challenging journey

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Youm-i-Takbeer was not just a day but a story of the nation’s challenging and remarkable journey towards establishing credible minimum deterrence.

The prime minister on his Twitter handle said that on that day, Pakistan set a redline for its defence and laid down rules of the game for peace and stability in the region.

“On the Silver Jubilee of Youm-i-Takbeer, I pay rich tributes to the political and military leadership, scientists, engineers and all those who remained associated with our nuclear programme,” he said in a tweet.

The prime minister further said that their hard work, commitment and determination made it possible for the people to guard their independence from any physical threat. “The day represents how the consensus between all elements of national power achieved what once looked like an uphill task,” he said.

“Shaheed Zulifkar Ali Bhutto was a visionary leader who initiated the nuclear programme. In a show of bold leadership, my leader Mian Nawaz Sharif firmly rejected the policy of stick and carrot and made sure that the country became nuclear.”

“All along, our armed forces remained a guardian and protector of the programme in the face of malign intentions of our enemies,” he said.

Credible minimum deterrence

The armed forces also paid rich tribute to the brilliant minds who conceived and achieved credible minimum nuclear deterrence accomplishment under daunting challenges. “The armed forces salute the scientists and engineers who turned the impossible into a reality. Long Live Pakistan,” a statement of Inter-Services Public Relations said.

It said the entire nation celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Youm-i-Takbeer and commemorated the remarkable achievement of establishing Credible Minimum Deterrence. “This achievement has reshaped the power dynamics in our region,” it added.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2023

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