The White House said on Saturday that it is confident Pakistan is aware of its responsibilities pertaining to the safety and security of its nuclear weapons.
“We continue to be confident that the government of Pakistan is aware of those responsibilities and takes those responsibilities quite seriously,” White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said at a news conference.
The remark came a day after two leading US think tanks claimed in a report that Pakistan would have more than 350 nuclear weapons in a decade, which means that the country would have the third largest stock piles of nuclear weapons after the US and Russia.
Commenting on the report, Earnest said, “I did see the report. I don’t have an official administration assessment to share with you. I would say there a couple things that come to mind.”
The spokesperson went on to add that responsibility for nuclear stockpile remains with all countries who have secured a nuclear stockpile.
“This applies not just to Pakistan but to countries around the world that have a nuclear stockpile – they have a responsibility for securing that nuclear stockpile.”
The White House spokesperson also added that President Barack Obama had set a long-term goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. A year after becoming president, Obama had hosted the first nuclear security summit in Washington to galvanise world leaders to achieve this goal.
“The President’s made clear that he has a long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. And the President has convened, you know, every couple of years at an international summit to try to counter nuclear proliferation. And that continues to be a top foreign policy priority of his. I believe we’re cited to have a next meeting next year. So the president is certainly looking forward to that,” Earnest said.
The US president has also announced to host the fourth and last Nuclear Security Summit of his presidency March-April of next year. Many world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the summit.
Soon after the report was released in Washington, the US State Department had cautioned Pakistan from flaunting its nuclear status as it would worsen tensions between India and Pakistan.