ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday said Pakistan was not in an arms’ race with any country and was following the policy of minimal defence ability.
The prime minister made these remarks during his visit to the National Command Centre (NCC) of the National Command Authority (NCA) and a weapons’ storage site.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Khalid Shamim Wynne, Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Director General Lt-Gen (r) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, senior military officers, scientists and engineers were also present during the visit,
The prime minister reiterated Pakistan wanted peace in the region and was not involved in any arms’ race, adding its strategic capability was based on the policy of credible minimum deterrence. While welcoming the prime minister, the SPD DG said the NCC was a highly secure and a fully protected facility. The PM was also briefed on the indigenously developed strategic command, control and support system, which was designed to facilitate decision making at the NCC.
Nawaz Sharif was given a demonstration of the state-of-the-art connectivity of countrywide strategic assets, which was an exclusive network and ensured an effective control over the strategic assets.
The prime minister commended the skill, expertise, professionalism and dedication of individuals as well as the organisations involved in the development of the NCC and the requisite support systems. He said Pakistan’s strategic capability would continue to follow its policy of credible minimum deterrence.
Later, the PM visited a technical site where he was briefed by the commander, Army Strategic Force Command. The premier expressed complete satisfaction over the safe, secure and foolproof security architecture in place for the physical safety and security of the country’s strategic assets.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and discussed with him key issues pertaining to security, especially in the backdrop of the prevailing law and order situation.
During the meeting, the appointment of a new chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee also came under discussion as the incumbent CJCSC Khalid Shameem Wynne is set to retire on Saturday (today).
No successor has so been named as yet because of which speculations have mounted. The decision appears to be a joint chief from either the army or the navy.
If the army retains the office, the next CJCSC will most likely be Lt-Gen Haroon Aslam, the most senior general in the army, while Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Asif Sandila could be the next man if the position goes to the navy.
Prior to the visit, Premier Sharif and outgoing CJCSC Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne visited the Kahuta Research Laboratories located on the outskirts of the federal capital. The prime minister was briefed on the country’s nuclear and missile programmes. Sharif also reviewed the performance of the atomic plant.
Earlier, General Lloyed Austin, commander, CENTCOM, United States, also called on General Wynne. The two discussed matters of mutual interests.