November 09, 2009

Seymour Hersh’s latest article only portrays his well-known anti-Pakistan bias: Pakistani FO spokesman

Associated Press of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Nov 8, 2009 (APP): Commenting on Mr. Seymour Hersh’s latest article "Defending the Arsenal-In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?" posted on the website of "The New Yorker" magazine, the Foreign Office Spokesman termed the assertions made in the article as utterly misleading and totally baseless. "The author of the article yet again portrays his well-known anti-Pakistan bias by making several false and highly irresponsible claims by quoting anonymous and unverifiable sources".

"The article is thus nothing more than a concoction to tarnish the image of Pakistan and create misgivings among its people," the Spokesman said in statement here on Sunday.

The Spokesman underlined that Pakistan’s strategic assets are completely safe and secure. The multi-layered custodial controls, which have been developed indigenously, are as foolproof and effective as in any other nuclear weapons state, he added.

"Pakistan therefore does not require any foreign assistance in this regard. Nor will Pakistan, as a sovereign state, ever allow any country to have direct or indirect access to its nuclear and strategic facilities".

"Any suggestion to this effect is simply preposterous. Our second-to-none professional armed forces are fully capable to take care of our nuclear arsenal", he added.

The Spokesman further said, "to set the record straight, no talks have ever taken place on the issue of the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal with US officials".

He said it needs to be emphasized that contrary to what Mr. Hersh claims, the US has repeatedly expressed its full confidence in our custodial controls. Most recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself denied any US concerns in this regard, he added.

The Spokesman said that Mr. Hersh is known to write sensational stories premised in far-fetched and imaginary scenarios. "His latest article is no exception and is, therefore, strongly rejected", he added.

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