ISLAMABAD Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Tariq Majid, has urged the world to realise that the daunting internal and external challenges that Pakistan faces today are largely intertwined and the country is in vortex not by choice but because of regional and international circumstances, which in many ways are beyond its control.
While speaking about the eradication of terrorism and violent extremism on Thursday he said, In our future counterinsurgency actions, we will keep in perspective a larger strategic picture, especially the unfolding of events in Afghanistan and sustainability of domestic support for our counterinsurgency strategy in an environment of possibly increased reactive violence and a fragile economy.
He stated, We have to be mindful of the blatant pursuit of military preponderance in our neighbourhood.
Growing power imbalance due to continuing build-up of massive military machine, including both hi-tech conventional and nuclear forces, adoption of dangerous cold start doctrine and proactive strategy, more assertive posturing especially after very exceptional civil nuclear deal and notions of two front war are all destabilising trends, carrying implications for Pakistans security.
Therefore, retention of essential nuclear capability to maintain credible minimum deterrence against any possible aggression is our compulsion and not a matter of choice, added.
He further said as a responsible nuclear weapon state and despite being a non-NPT country, Pakistan has always supported the non-proliferation efforts and its position on disarmament issues has remained consistent and pragmatic.
We however, demand our rightful place as a nuclear weapon state and reject discriminatory policies, he added.
While speaking about Fissile Material Treaty (FMT) discussions, he said that FMT was only Pakistan specific which was unacceptable.
Countries of the world need to be sensitive to our security concerns rather than attempting in vain to browbeat us or riding roughshod over our concerns, he added.
He made these remarks while addressing the convocation ceremony of National Defence Course, Armed Forces War Course and Allied Officers War Course at National Defence University, Islamabad.
General Tariq also expressed his views on recurring concern on safety and security of Pakistans nuclear weapons and materials and said that nuclear security within a state was a national responsibility that we are shouldering with utmost vigilance and assurance.
We have put in place a very robust regime that includes multi-layered mechanisms and processes to secure our strategic assets, and have provided maximum transparency on our practices.
We have reassured the international community on this issue over and over again and our track record since the time our nuclear programme was made overt has been unblemished.
We therefore, consider security to be a non-issue, and strongly suggest that it is time to move beyond this issue.
The world must accept our nuclear reality, and stop unwarranted insinuations to create alarms and deny us the related benefits.
While addressing the graduates, General Tariq said that as future leaders and policymakers they had an obligation to carry with them the lessons learnt at National Defence University and act in supreme national interest without fear or favour.
He also said that in todays world the standing of a country was measured by its political and economic strengths, the state of development of its human resource, and the management skills of the senior leadership.
The need of the moment is to promote a culture of tolerance, stabilise the democratic dispensation with an effective governance system and develop a viable economic order by making optimum utilisation of all the national resources.
Congratulating the graduates comprising Armed Forces officers, civil bureaucrats of Pakistan and senior officers from friendly countries on successful completion of the course, General Tariq expressed hope that the enhanced knowledge, competence, capacity for analysis and decision-making would make them an asset for their nation.
Earlier on arrival at NDU, Chairman JCSC was received by President NDU, Lieutenant General Muhammad Yousaf.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 18-Jun-2010 here.