ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Saturday handed a demarche to US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, sources told Geo News, following President Joe Biden’s “misleading” remarks over Islamabad’s nuclear programme.
The ministry informed the envoy of Pakistan’s stance, the sources said, adding that Ambassador Blome has also been asked to seek an explanation from the US president for his statement.
The US ambassador has also been informed that Pakistan’s atomic assets are safe, sources added.
The development comes after Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly protested against Biden’s controversial remarks.
FM Bilawal had confirmed during a press conference in Karachi that Pakistan would summon the US ambassador to the Foreign Office and give him a demarche.
“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 said.
“Pakistan is adamant about ensuring its integrity and safety. Security questions, if any, should be raised on the nuclear weapons of India that recently fired a missile into Pakistani territory by accident.”
FM Bilawal said he had discussed President Biden’s statement with PM Shehbaz in detail and hoped this incident would not affect Pakistan-US relations negatively.
“This is not only irresponsible and unsafe but raises serious concerns about the safety of nuclear-capable countries. Biden’s remarks came as a surprise. I believe such misunderstandings are a result of a lack of engagement,” the foreign minister said.
On the sensitivity of Biden’s remarks, Bilawal, however, added it was not an official function and it wasn’t an address to the parliament or an interview.
“It was a fundraiser. It was an informal conversation in which this sentence was used so it should be [looked at] in this manner, I think we will look at this statement in this way,” he said.