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Pakistan’s nukes are safe: Indian army chief

Indian Army Chief Gen VK Singh said on Sunday that concern remains over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of terrorists, but he feels these weapons are secure.

“Probably Pakistan also has (such concerns) and they are taking extra measures….I don’t think, there is any reason to say things are not secure. Things are secure,” the army chief told the Press Trust of India in an interview.

He, however, added that this will remain a concern given “the way internal dynamics (of Pakistan) are”.

Recently, Gen Singh was criticised in Pakistan for his comments that Pakistan and China are “major irritants” and India was ready to fight a conventional warfare in a nuclear scenario.

Rejecting Pakistan’s contention that his recent comments were “jingoistic”, he said such views were not only his but of the entire world. The army chief said that both Pakistan and China were nuclear armed countries and “who uses (such weapons), we don’t know. As armed forces, we should always keep this in mind that there is somebody who can use it.”

Elaborating on his contention, he pointed out that Pakistan has done “sabre-rattling” on behalf of nuclear weapons and “we, as a force, are prepared to fight anytime.”

Turning to China, he said the borders are calm and confidence building measures are in place and “things are not as bad as we look at the western side (Pakistan).”

He, however, said no one knows “when its intention will change” and “it remains a cause of worry.” Commenting on China’s capability building, Gen Singh said it is engaging a lot of India’s neighbours and it impacts “our overall security scenario”.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2010.

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