No talks with US on security of Pak nuclear arsenal, says spokesman

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Islamabad, Nov 9 (ANI): Pakistan's Foreign Office has denied having talks with US officials on the issue of securing its nuclear arsenal, and made it clear that it does not requires any foreign assistance in this regard.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has reported in the latest issue of The New Yorker magazine that Washington has been negotiating highly sensitive understandings with the Pakistani Army about the security of the country's nuclear arsenal.

Hersh reported that during meetings with current and former officials in Washington and Pakistan, he was told that the agreements would allow specially trained American units to provide added security for Pakistani nuclear arsenal in case of a crisis.

At the same time, the Pakistani military would be given money to equip and train Pakistani soldiers and improve their housing and facilities, says the report.

"Pakistan's nuclear assets are safe and secure. We, as a sovereign state, will never allow any country to have direct or indirect access to our nuclear and strategic facilities," said Foreign Office (FO) sSpokesman Abdul Basit in a statement issued here on Sunday.

Commenting on the article published in the online edition of the New Yorker, which questioned the safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, Basit said that Hersh was known to write sensational stories premised on far-fetched and imaginary scenarios.

"His latest article is no exception, and is, therefore, strongly rejected," The Nation quoted him, as saying.

"Seymour Hersh, yet again, betrays his well-known anti-Pakistan bias by making several false and highly irresponsible claims by quoting anonymous and unverifiable sources," Basit said.

He said that the article was nothing more than a concoction to tarnish the image of Pakistan and create misgivings among its people.

"The multi-layered custodial controls, which have been developed indigenously, are as foolproof and effective as in any other nuclear state," he maintained. (ANI)

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