Pakistan Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif on Friday said the nuclear programme occupies a “central place” in the defence of the country. Sharif made the remarks during a visit to the army’s Strategic Force Command headquarters in Rawalpindi.
He was received by Strategic Force Command chief Lt Gen Obaidullah Khan, who gave him a detailed briefing about the
preparedness of the strategic forces.
Sharif lauded the higher standard of training‚ professional abilities and morale of the armed forces personnel. The exact number and location of Pakistan’s nculear weapons are not known.
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There have been a slew of reports in the international media about the vulnerability of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and possibility of it falling into hands of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Pakistan says its strictly follows international standards to guard the nuclear stockpile and has always rejected such reports as part of a “campaign” to malign its nuclear programme.
Islamabad does not follow a “no first use” policy for its nuclear weapons but under its nuclear doctrine, the arsenal is meant to maintain a minimum credible deterrence.
Most of Pakistan’s missiles are India-specific.