WASHINGTON: Pakistans Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has hotly denied his country could sell Saudi Arabia an off-the-shelf nuclear weapon, after days of high-level talks in Washington.
After meetings at the White House, Pentagon and State Department, Chaudhry described the suggestions Pakistan could sell a weapon as unfounded, baseless and untrue.
Pakistans nuclear program has nothing to do with any other country, he told reporters.This is a deterrence that we develop in response to a threat perception that we have from our east. Thats it, he added.
Pakistan is not talking to Saudi Arabia on nuclear issues, period.
Gulf diplomats have suggested that Saudi Arabia and perhaps even the United Arab Emirates could buy a bomb from their staunch allies in Islamabad to safeguard against a nuclear Iran.
For decades Tehran has been building its nuclear capability, although it denies allegations from the west that the program is military-focused.
Arab largely Sunni Muslim Gulf states are uneasy with Tehrans growing clout in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and even in Saudi Arabia.
Anxiousness has peaked as President Barack Obama prepares to ink a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.
While the planned agreement would curb Irans nuclear program, Tehran would retain significant capabilities with a short breakout period needed to weaponize.
Saudi Arabia also fears that resulting US sanctions relief would hand its arch foe tens of billions to spend on its military, while key elements of the nuclear program would remain intact.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.