Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) Gen. Nadeem Raza on Monday urged all Pakistanis to avoid making any baseless and unnecessary comments about the country’s nuclear program.
“Pakistan is a responsible and confident nuclear country,” he said while addressing a seminar at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad. Stressing that the country’s nuclear safety mechanisms were in line with national and international standards, he said Pakistan’s policy was “full-spectrum deterrence,” intended to maintain reliable nuclear balance. This ensured the defense and integrity of the homeland, he added.
Urging people to refrain from commenting on Pakistan’s nuclear program, the top military official said that only the National Command Authority had the mandate to comment on the country’s strategic programs. He said the program had the complete support of all political parties and the masses, adding that the civil and military leadership was united in support of strategic programs.
“National security is indivisible,” he said. “Pakistan will not compromise on its nuclear program,” he added.
While Gen. Raza did not single out any person or entity for his criticism, his statement came within days of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan claiming in an interview that if the security establishment did not “take the right decisions,” then the country would go bankrupt and the Army would be “destroyed.”
“After it [Army] is hit, what concession will be taken from us? Denuclearization,” he said, adding that if Pakistan lost its nuclear deterrence capability, then it would be divided into three pieces. The statement had drawn widespread criticism, with the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) barring TV channels from broadcasting the portion of the interview in which the ousted prime minister alleges that Pakistan’s nuclear capability is at risk.