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Pakistan allays fears over N-arms surveillance by US

Pak allayed fears over the security of its nuclear programme following American media reports that the US has intensified surveillance of its nuclear weapons and is trying to evaluate the loyalty of its counter-terrorism agents recruited by the CIA.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday allayed fears over the security of its nuclear programme following American media reports that the United States has intensified surveillance of Pakistan`s nuclear weapons and is trying to evaluate the loyalty of Pakistan`s counter-terrorism agents recruited by the CIA.

The Washington Post reported that documents available with the paper reveal broad new levels of mistrust in an already fragile security partnership and US efforts to gather intelligence on Pakistan are more extensive than previously disclosed by US officials.

Responding to the Washington Post story, the foreign ministry said Pakistan has established extensive physical protection measures, robust command and control institutions under the chairmanship of the prime minister and comprehensive and effective export controls regulatory regimes to ensure safety and security of nuclear installations and materials, Xinhua reported.

"We follow best international practices and standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency," the foreign ministry said in a statement. It also stated that Pakistan is fully engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues.

"The efficacy of our strategic export controls has been acknowledged by experts from the international export control regimes during interactions on various occasions."

The foreign ministry said Pakistan is a state party to both the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention and is fully implementing the two regimes.

A foreign ministry spokesman added that Pakistan`s nuclear deterrence capability is aimed at maintaining regional stability in South Asia.

"Pakistan is fully committed to objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation. As a nuclear weapons state, Pakistan`s policy is characterised by restraint and responsibility," he said.

IANS