WASHINGTON - The United States believes that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are “safe” despite a surge in terrorist violence across the country, including Sunday’s assault on Jinnah International airport in Karachi, a State Department spokesperson said.
“We know that they (Pakistani government) care about this a great deal and have no reason at this point to think it’s anything but safe,” Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said when an Indian correspondent raised the question of safety of Pakistan‘s nuclear assets at the daily Press briefing on Monday.
“We believe the Pakistani Government understands the importance of protecting all of its arsenal, including things related to its nuclear programme,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a formal statement, the US not only condemned the terrorist attack on the airport, but also the suicide attacks targeting Shia pilgrims in Taftan, Balochistan.
“Regrettably, the Pakistani people face violent assaults from numerous groups,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, while noting that the same day as the airport attack, 30 Shia pilgrims were murdered in Balochistan, “the latest innocent victims of sectarian violence.”
“The United States also sends its sincere condolences to those affected by this heinous attack and strongly condemns those responsible,” she said.
“Extremist violence against innocent Pakistani men, women, and children of any faith is an assault on universal human values. We encourage the government to take steps to protect and improve the lives of members of Pakistan’s minorities and take concrete steps to promote tolerance and religious freedom.”