ISLAMABAD (Reuters/AFP) - News reports about Pakistans nuclear arsenal, including questions about its safety, are part of a malicious campaign that is counter-productive to efforts to defeat terrorism, the foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday. As Pakistan battles a growing Taliban insurgency, reports in US media have raised the nightmare scenario of its nuclear weapons falling into militant hands. Pakistan has repeatedly stressed its weapons are safe. This week, the New York Times reported US lawmakers were told in confidential briefings that Pakistan was rapidly adding to its nuclear capability, stoking fears in Congress about diversion of US funds. We consider this ... a malicious campaign against Pakistan which in our view is contrary to facts, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told a regular briefing, referring to the reports. It is counter-productive to the collective objective of defeating militants and terrorism and also raises serious doubts in the minds of the people of Pakistan about the ... objective of those engaging in negative propaganda. Many Pakistanis believe the United States is secretly intent on confiscating Pakistans nuclear weapons although US officials, including President Barack Obama, have said they believe Pakistans weapons are safe. When asked if Pakistan was expanding its nuclear arsenal, Basit did not respond directly, but said Pakistan was determined to maintain a minimum nuclear deterrence as nuclear-armed rival India beefed up its conventional forces. Nuclear deterrence is the cornerstone of Pakistans security and enjoys complete national consensus, Basit said. We are determined to protect the credibility of our nuclear deterrence at the minimum possible level and that we will continue to do. Pakistan accused India of disturbing the regional balance compelling Islamabad to take remedial steps. We are opposed to nuclear or conventional arms race in South Asia. Basit said Pakistans nuclear deterrence was indispensable for stability in South Asia. We have noticed that there have been acquisitions and sophisticated conventional weaponry has been supplied to our neighbour. This in a way disturbs the conventional balance between our two countries, he said. Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to increasing conventional asymmetry, unrelenting arms acquisition as well as preferential treatment being accorded to certain countries in the region, he said. Such developments disturb the strategic balance. Pakistan is constrained to adopt necessary safeguards as it deems fit, he declared. Basit urged the international community to play its role in augmenting the strategic stability in the region and refrain from discriminatory policies which undermine the stability of South Asia and aggravates imbalances. A peace process between Pakistan and India has been on hold since deadly attacks in Mumbai last November which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militant group. The spokesman called for a resumption of dialogue and resolution of the Kashmir issue. The way forward lies in conflict resolutions and a peace process in this regard, Basit added. Online adds: The spokesman said the way forward is the conflict resolution and in this regard there is dire need for just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and strict adherence to the Indus Water Treaty. Replying to a question, he hoped that the new Indian government would return to the dialogue process soon and this process should be result-oriented. This is absolutely necessary in order to ensure lasting peace in the region. Responding to yet another question, he said elections in Occupied Kashmir cannot be a substitute to the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people, which was promised to them decades ago. These commitments should be fulfilled. To another question about willingness of France to supply nuclear power plants, the spokesman said the two countries would commence negotiations on a framework agreement in July this year, which will cover all aspects of bilateral relations including cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear technology. He hoped that the negotiations would conclude by the end of the year. Asked to comment on reports about interference by India and some other countries in Balochistan and the NWFP, the spokesman said Pakistan is in the process of looking into the sources of supply of arms to militants. The spokesman said the Foreign Affairs Ministry has established a humanitarian assistance task group to coordinate international relief efforts for IDPs. On the directive of the Prime Minister, countrys missions abroad have opened bank accounts to collect donations and goods from Pakistani diaspora and local people and host governments. The spokesman said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan will lead Pakistan delegation to the 36th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC to be held in Syrian capital Damascus from 23rd to 25th of this month. The theme of the conference is Enhancing Islamic Solidarity. The Minister of State will address the Council of Foreign Ministers and also hold a number of bilateral meetings with other heads of delegation. The session will review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan as well as issues of Muslim minorities and communities all over the world. It will also review the activities of the OIC in the economic, cultural, social, legal, science and technology, health and environment, administrative and financial fields. On the sidelines of the conference, the OIC contact group on Jammu and Kashmir will hold its meeting. Representatives of the Kashmiri people and Prime Minister of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir will also participate in the meeting. The spokesman said Pakistan was recently elected to the 54 member UN Economic and Social Council for three year term beginning from next year. This is clear endorsement by the international community of Pakistans importance and significant role it is playing in UN system.