The presser of Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) Gen. Nadeem Raza that any compromise on the country’s nuclear programme is out of the question, shows that the nuclear programmes and assets are in safe hands. The CJCSC had to issue the extraordinary presser after some politicians and media circles hurled irresponsible comments on the country’s nukes, which could have triggered an international debate on the assets. Stressing the need to be mindful while commenting on the nuclear issue, the CJCSC’s presser stated: “National security is indivisible and … under no circumstances shall Pakistan allow a compromise on its nuclear programme”. The statement comes from Gen Raza, the National Command Authority deputy chairman – the top authority tasked with taking care of the nuclear and missile programme, which he said at a seminar at the National University of Sciences and Technology. It should be recalled that Pakistan’s nuclear programme’s security has been acknowledged by the international community. Since its inception back in 1974 till the nuclear tests in 1998, Pakistan has guarded its nukes on a par with the international standards and obligations. From 2004-2005, Pakistan took stern action when reports about nuclear proliferation were reported. That shows how responsible nuclear Pakistan has been, and during the whole time, Pakistan stands firm for its strategic programme, which is mainly for deterrence. During this period, the country was governed by several governments, with varied ideologies, but the programme’s security protocols remained the same.
Recently, former prime minister Imran Khan said in a TV interview that he was concerned about the well-being of the nuclear programme as the ongoing economic crisis may force the incumbent government to forge a compromise on the nuclear programme with potential implications for the country’s integrity. The NCA received the comment in bad taste. The former prime minister and other people who have been at the helm of affairs should be careful while commenting on the nuclear programme. The world powers have been trying hard to denuclearize Pakistan, but the successive governments, including Imran Khan’s, have weathered pressure. The pressure tactics have not ceased as the country’s long-range missiles and tactical weapons face opposition from the US and other major countries. Pakistan cannot abandon its nuclear programme because of the presence of hostile neighbours. If outstanding issues with India are resolved, the region can step towards peace.