India has accumulated a stockpile of nuclear weapons which threaten to undermine the strategic balance of power in the region, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said on Thursday.

Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria claimed that India has also built a “secret nuclear city” and has been conducting tests on inter-continental missiles, reported Dawn newspaper.

Steps such as these, Zakaria said, are impacting the existing balance of power in the region. “Pakistan remains committed to the principles of peaceful existence with all of its neighbours, including India,” he said.

Zakaria said India had been “exposed” by the failure of its efforts to isolate Pakistan, and added that the Indian government should reciprocate the steps taken by Pakistan for peace.

Rubbishing Pakistan’s claims of India’s secret nuclear city as baseless, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup has said- “This aims to deflect attention from the real issue of terrorism.”

A study published by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad in 2016 claimed that India has sufficient fissile material and the technical capacity to produce between 356 and 492 nuclear bombs.

“There is a fear that the Indian reactors not mandated by the safeguards might be used clandestinely for plutonium production and the existing stockpiles might be diverted to a military programme at a subsequent stage,” Director General Disarmament at the Foreign Office Kamran Akhtar said.

Pakistan earlier this week said it wants India to bring its entire civilian nuclear programme under the safeguards laid out by the International Atomic Energy Commission.

First Published | 9 February 2017 6:51 PM
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