Pakistan not in Arms Race with any Country, says Sharif

Pakistan not in Arms RaceISLAMABAD: During a visit to the National Command Centre (NCC) on Friday Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif renewed his government’s commitment to maintain credible minimum deterrence.

The prime minister, who recently spoke at a high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, made a rare visit to an unnamed “technical site” and a “weapons storage site”. The prime minister was accompanied by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Khalid Shamim Wynne, Director General of Strategic Plans Division (SPD) retired Lt Gen Khalid Ahmed Kidwai and other senior military officers.

This was Mr Sharif’s second meeting with members of the National Command Authority (NCA) in a month. On Sept 5, he presided over a meeting of the NCA which had decided to preserve “full spectrum deterrence” against any possible external aggression. Mr Sharif’s visit took place days after Gen Wynne inaugurated “two newly constructed state of the art, fully protected Network Centric enabled Command and Control Centres of Naval Strategic Force Command”.

At the National Command Centre (NCC) of the National Command Authority (NCA), the prime minister said Pakistan was not in an arms race, but being fully alive to the evolving security dynamics of the region it would maintain full spectrum deterrence to reinforce strategic stability in South Asia.

The Prime Minister’s Office said Mr Sharif was briefed on the indigenously developed strategic command, control and support system, which is said to have been designed to facilitate decision-making at the NCC. He was also given a demonstration of the sophisticated connectivity of countrywide strategic assets.

In his briefing on the occasion, Gen Kidwai said NCC was a highly secure and fully protected facility. During his visit to a ‘technical site’ Mr Sharif was briefed by Commander Army Strategic Force Command Lt Gen Syed Tariq Nadeem Gilani. Mr Sharif expressed complete satisfaction over the safe, secure and fool-proof security architecture in place for the physical safety and security of strategic assets. – Dawn