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'Pak ready to phase out N-arms, If India does'

world Updated: May 23, 2009 13:48 IST
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Stating that Pakistan's nuclear weapon is a "deterrent" against India, the country's top diplomat to the US on Saturday expressed willingness to enter into an agreement with New Delhi to phase out all atomic arms possessed by the two countries.

Appearing on the CNN to make a public appeal to the Americans to donate USD five each through cell phone for the refugees of Swat Valley, Pakistan Ambassador to the US Hussein Haqqani insisted that the nuclear weapons of his country are safe and there should be no concern about their security.

"Everybody in the US Government who knows anything about nuclear weapons knows that Pakistan has a very secure nuclear programme. It's a very limited nuclear programme to maintain deterrence vis-a-vis our neighbor," Haqqani told the CNN in an interview.

"At the same time, Pakistan is willing to engage with our neighbour for a comprehensive settlement in which the nuclear weapons can be phased out by both countries," He said.

"Pakistan's nuclear weapons are safe and Pakistan is not going to expand nuclear weapons capability to a point when it becomes a threat to any country in the world, including our neighbours," he said urging the US media not to divert attention from the real issue by raising the question of safety of nuclear weapons of Pakistan.

Haqqani said the United States should not be concerned about the nuclear weapons of Pakistan as this is not a threat to the US. "I don't think Pakistan's nuclear weapons are a threat to the United States. I think the threat to the United States right now comes from terrorists that might be in Afghanistan or in parts of Pakistan. And Pakistan is doing a great job fighting those terrorists right now," he said.

The Pak Ambassador said his country is unlikely to give specific details of its nuclear weapons to the US; despite the fact that it has assured top US leaders that its atomic weapons are secure and there is no need to be concerned about it. "I don't think any country knows or tells the location of all its nuclear weapons to any country in the world," he said.

Haqqani went ahead to link this sharing of information with that of India. "The Soviet Union never did it with the United States until an -- after comprehensive negotiations between the US and Soviet Union started. So whenever that starts between Pakistan and its eastern neighbour, we will move in that direction," Haqqani said.