Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Nukes are 'secure', says premier after test-fire of two ballistic missiles

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-08

Pakistan's military said Saturday it had successfully test-fired two missiles capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads, in a bid to boost the country's defence capabilities.

REUTERS - Pakistan reiterated a call on Saturday for the international community to recognise it as a nuclear power, saying it had addressed the world's concerns over the safety and security of its nuclear weapons.
 

Pakistan is a crucial ally in the U.S.-led fight against al Qaeda and Taliban and President Barack Obama last month expressed confidence over the security of Pakistan's nuclear programmes.
 

However, militant attacks across the country, even on supposedly secure military installations, have raised fears that militants could penetrate nuclear facilities.
 

But Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said he had "laid to rest" all concerns about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear programme at a summit hosted by Obama in Washington last month, and the world had "expressed satisfaction" over Pakistan's nuclear security arrangements.
 

"There is now a need for the world to move on beyond safety and security concerns," Gilani said while addressing military officials at the test-firing of two short-range, nuclear-capable missiles.
 

"It is time for the world to recognise Pakistan as a de jure nuclear power with equal rights and responsibilities," the military quoted him as saying in a statement.
 

Gilani and senior military officials watched the test-firing of the Ghaznavi ballistic missile, which can travel up to 300 km (185 miles), and the Shaheen-I, with a range of 650 km (400 miles).
 

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their independence from British rule in 1947. They regularly carry out missile tests and the latest Pakistani tests were not expected to increase tension between them.
 

"VITAL ECONOMIC SECURITY NEED"
 

Gilani also reiterated a Pakistani offer made at the Washington summit to provide nuclear fuel cycle services, under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, to the world.
 

Pakistan's nuclear programme has been under intense international scrutiny since its inception in the 1970s.
 

In 2004, top Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan admitted to selling Iran, North Korea and Libya nuclear enrichment technology that can be used to produce fuel for civilian reactors or atomic weapons.
 

Pakistan denied the government knew anything about Khan's activities though Western diplomats and intelligence officials say they believe some members of Pakistan's government and military were aware of his nuclear network.
 

Gilani, whose government is struggling with a chronic energy crisis and acute power shortages, also reiterated a call for the provision of civilian nuclear technology by the international community.
 

"Energy is a vital economic security need of Pakistan and nuclear energy is a clean way forward," he said.
 

Pakistan has long been asking for a civilian nuclear deal with the United States, similar to one the United States has with India.
 

But the United States is reluctant to strike such a deal with Pakistan mainly because of Khan's proliferation activities.
 

Pakistan first carried out nuclear tests in May 1998, days after similar tests by India.
 

Like India, Pakistan has not signed the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Pakistan has about 80 atomic bombs and fissile material for up to 150 more, international experts say.

Date created : 2010-05-08

  • INDIA-PAKISTAN

    Nuclear rivals move to normalise relations at summit

    Read more

COMMENT(S)