Pakistan on Thursday claimed India is building a “secret nuclear city” to produce thermonuclear weapons as well as develop intercontinental missiles and stockpile nuclear material — allegations that India promptly dismissed as “completely baseless”.
Pakistan ministry spokesperson Nafees Zakaria made the allegations at a press conference in Islamabad, but presented no evidence to back up the claim.
The two nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars over the disputed Kashmir region, which both claim in its entirety. Tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi have recently soared amid continued violence in Kashmir.
Zakaria also claimed India is working on an inter-continental ballistic missile and an anti-intercontinental ballistic missile system, which could lead to a strategic imbalance in the region and beyond.
In addition, he accused India of sponsoring terrorism attacks in Pakistan, saying that Islamabad recently shared documentary evidence of this with the United Nations.
India’s foreign ministry dismissed Zakaria’s remarks as unfounded.
“These are completely baseless allegations. The so-called secret nuclear city is a figment of Pakistan’s imagination,” said Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of India’s ministry of external affairs. “India has always been in compliance with its international obligations.”
Pakistan became a declared nuclear power in 1998 by carrying out nuclear tests in response to tests done by India. The southern rival’s atomic tests first came into the limelight in 1974.