US ‘concerned’ over security of Pak’s nuclear weapons

Lahore : Followed the announcement to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, the United States has expressed concern over the security of Islamabad’s strategic nuclear weapons.

According to the Dawn, Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said at a press briefing that the hostility between India and Pakistan was worrying and urged the two nations to continue talks to assuage tensions.

“We’re concerned both about the security of those nuclear weapons, and that’s been a common refrain in our discussions with Pakistan,” Toner said while responding to a question about the alleged increase in Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons.

“But we’re also concerned, clearly, about tensions between India and Pakistan in the region, and we want to see a dialogue between those two countries, clearly, to help alleviate some of those tensions,” he added.

Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry dismissed claims that Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal programme was the world’s fastest growing and repeated the demand for the induction into a club of nuclear trading nations.

Chaudhry also said that the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s “discriminatory waiver” to India and the Indo-US nuclear deal had allowed New Delhi to amplify fissile material and disturb strategic stability in South Asia.

According to a recent joint study by the Carnegie and Stimson research organisations, Pakistan has the estimated capability to produce 20 nuclear warheads annually while India appears to be producing about five warheads. (ANI)