Pakistan downplays scientist Khan's boastful nuclear remark

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Nagpur, Jun 4: Pakistan today sought to downplay its nuclear physicist Abdul Qadeer Khan's remarks about his country's reported capability to hit Delhi in five minutes, saying he is a private citizen and too much should not be read into his remarks.

He is a private citizen and too much importance should not be given to his comments, Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said at an interactive session with journalists and intellectuals here.

Pak downplays AQ Khan's remark

Basit was asked to comment on Khan's boastful remark that nuclear-armed Pakistan has the ability to "target" the Indian capital in five minutes. The 80-year-old father of Pakistan's nuclear programme made the remark in late May.

The Pakistan diplomat dismissed fears about his country's atomic weapons falling into the hands of non-state actors. "We have a multi-layered security (for nuclear weapons).

Its foolproof and as per global norms." Basit said not only the people of Pakistan, but also the political parties of his country are desirous of peace with India.

"All political parties in Pakistan include promise of improving relations with India in their election manifesto." He expressed hope that the Indo-Pak dialogue, stalled after the terror attack on Pathankot air base in January, would resume soon.

Read More: Pakistan can target India in 5 minutes, claims controversial scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan

The issue of Kashmir will figure during the discussion whenever the talks take place, the envoy said. Confidence building measures have been initiated by both the countries and they should help in restoring good bilateral relations,the High Commissioner said.

Speaking on a range of issues, Basit said Pakistan had been fighting to overcome the menace of terrorism, drug and human trafficking. "We are fighting terror for the last 35 years." To a query, Basit said he had no knowledge about presence of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan, wanted in India for terrorism and other crimes.


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