The United States has expressed its “confidence” in Pakistan’s ability to secure its nuclear arsenal, days after President Joe Biden called the country one of the most dangerous nations in the world and said it had “nuclear weapons without any cohesion”.
In a press briefing on Monday, state department spokesperson Vedant Patel said the US has always viewed a secure and prosperous Pakistan as critical to US interests and that it was confident of Pakistan’s commitment and its ability to secure its nuclear assets”.
Khan responded the next day, writing that he and Chollet discussed “ways to build further resilience in #PAKUS ties and boost strategic trust.”
Neither Pakistan’s foreign ministry nor its information ministry responded to Al Jazeera’s inquiries regarding the US statement.
Two days later, Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said Pakistan had summoned the US ambassador to demand an explanation of Biden’s statement.
“We are fully capable of safeguarding our nuclear weapons, and they meet every international standard in accordance with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] as far as security and safety is concerned,” Bilawal told a press conference in the southern city of Karachi.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also rejected Biden’s assertions, calling them “factually incorrect and misleading”.
“Over the past decades, Pakistan has proven to be a most responsible nuclear state, wherein its nuclear programme is managed through a technically sound and foolproof command and control system,” Sharif said in a statement.