No Slowdown in Pakistan’s Nuclear Program

Reuters article

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan will not roll back its nuclear weapons program and plans to carry out another missile test within two months, President Pervez Musharraf said.

In remarks to domestic journalists late on Wednesday, Musharraf said there was no pressure on Pakistan from the United States to slow atomic arms development despite a damaging proliferation scandal involving one of its top nuclear scientists.

“It is a joke,” Musharraf said, responding to a question about possible U.S. pressure.

“We are conducting a missile test every second day. I give you important news that within two months Pakistan will conduct a big missile test,” he said in remarks quoted by the Urdu-language Jang newspaper.

China’s Xinhua news agency quoted the president as saying Pakistan would conduct an important “nuclear” test, adding that he did not specify whether he meant a nuclear bomb or a missile.

But Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who was with Musharraf when he made the remarks, said he clearly mentioned a missile test.

“We are taking our nuclear program forward,” Musharraf added. “We will continue to manufacture nuclearmissiles and it will be a madman who accuses me of rolling back the nuclear missile program.”


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