Pak nuclear assets effectively protected, says Gilani

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Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
Islamabad, Jul 15: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday, Jul 14 dismissed the world community's concerns about Pakistan's atomic programme, saying the armed forces would effectively thwart any possible plots to take over the country's nuclear assets.

Chairing a meeting of the National Command Authority, the body that controls the country's nuclear weapons, Gilani said the May 2 US raid that killed Osama bin Laden and a terrorist attack on PNS Mehran naval airbase in Karachi "had raised concerns on the safety and security of our strategic assets".

These concerns were accompanied by what Gilani described as a "propaganda onslaught against Pakistan and its nuclear programme".

He said: "Such baseless, and certainly motivated, campaign against Pakistan will neither deter us from proceeding ahead sure-footed with our strategic programme nor succeed in undermining our national will".

Concerns were expressed by the world community about "potential threats from non-state actors to the security of our strategic assets and facilities", Gilani said.

Media reports "speculated on the possibility of sabotage and existence of contingency plans to take over our nuclear assets", he added.

"Any such nefarious designs shall be thwarted effectively by the armed forces with full support of the people of Pakistan," Gilani told the gathering, which included key cabinet ministers and the three service chiefs.

PTI

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