News Summary on Allegations of Nuclear Material Transfer (Excerpts)

March 1, 2005

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

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Pakistan Monday reiterated its position not to allow any foreigners to operate against terrorists from the country's soil, saying it was the exclusive jurisdiction and responsibility of Pakistani security forces. Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan at a weekly briefing said Pakistan as a partner in the war against international terrorism had been sharing intelligence with the United States.

"But as for as operations (against terrorists inside Pakistan) are concerned it is purely the responsibility of the Pakistani security agencies and there is no other agency involved in intelligence operation," he added. He was asked to comment on a "US Congressional Report" published in a section of the press that claimed American CIA agents were working inside Pakistan on private contracts to trace Osama bin Laden.

"No CIA operatives are hunting for Osama (in Pakistan)," he added. The spokesman also rejected a Washington Post story as "disinformation" about the alleged selling of nuclear material to Iran by Dr. A.Q Khan. He recalled such stories had been appearing in the US media under a set pattern and lacked credibility and were merely re-cycling of old stories. Khan said Pakistan investigated the issue of nuclear proliferation covering the period of 1980s and 1990s, based on available information and drew conclusions.

The Pakistan government shared the results with the Pakistani people and also took important capitals into confidence on the issue. He observed that investigation into the issue was continuing in the sense that Pakistan was prepared to look into fresh evidence. "There are however no fresh evidence given to us," he added. "We have not closed the investigation and there is no deadline, we have to safeguard our nuclear program and assets," he added. Khan said all nuclear weapons states had to be vigilant to safeguard their nuclear assets.

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The Spokesman did not agree with an assertion that India was trying to bypass Pakistan on the proposed gas pipeline originating from Iran. He said efforts were on to try to remove political understanding as it had been a common observation that the project was a "win-win" situation for Pakistan, India and Iran. Khan said, it has been Pakistan's understanding that India was going for a tripartite rim. The petroleum ministers of the three countries would be having bilateral or parallel meetings next month in Islamabad to discuss technical aspects of the multi-billion dollars project, he added.

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The Spokesman said Pakistan welcomes interests shown by any regional country to join SAARC. He said interests by China, Iran and Afghanistan shows the potential of the seven-member grouping shows its potential for regional economic cooperation. However, he underlined the need of strengthening the SAARC as it was still at nascent stage even after two decades of its creation. But he noted that progress was made during the last year, after Pakistan assumed the rotating chair. On the Iran-US standoff on the nuclear issue, the Spokesman again expressed hope that the matter would be resolved through diplomatic channels.

Khan noted a progress in the recent EU-Iran talks and added the trend needed to be reinforced. He said Pakistan's policy on the issue was very clear, as also stated by its leadership that it did not want any conflict in the region. Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used in case of attack on the country, he added.

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