US asks Pak to reduce nuke arsenal

Washington : U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has asked Pakistan to reduce its nuclear arsenal and urged that it should be the core issue of its policy.

Pakistan’s Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, instead asked the United States to understand its security concerns and its desire to actively contribute as a mainstream nuclear power.

Both the statements made by Kerry and Aziz clearly show major differences in their positions on the nuclear issue.

Pakistan said that its nuclear programme is designed only to deal with a possible threat from neigbouring India and it will not accept unilateral reduction in nuclear weapons on its side.

Secretary Kerry did not mention India while calling for a drastic reduction in nuclear weapons.

Aziz rejected the claim that Pakistan was pursuing a duplicitous policy and regretted that whatever goes wrong in Afghanistan, Pakistan was blamed for it.

U.S. and Pakistan are still deliberating on the contents of a joint statement that was supposed to be issued after the sixth meeting of their strategic dialogue.

The differences have reportedly delayed the statement but during their opening remarks both the leaders highlighted some pressing issues.

Aziz is in Washington to attend the sixth US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue which he co-chaired with Kerry yesterday.(ANI)