Will safeguard nukes at all cost: Pakistan Army

Islamabad: Under international scrutiny over the security of its nuclear arsenal, the Pakistani military said it will train 8,000 more security personnel to protect the country`s nukes and vowed to safeguard them "at all cost".

The induction of additional personnel is part of the Strategic Plans Division`s (SPD) "comprehensive plan to significantly augment its existing capacity", Major General Muhammad Tahir, Director General Security SPD of the Pakistan Army said in a statement.He resolved to safeguard Pakistan`s nuclear assets at all cost.

Fresh media reports in the US have questioned the quality of security being given to Pakistan`s nuclear arsenal, which Washington fears could be vulnerable to militants and terror groups like the al-Qaeda.

However, Tahir, "reiterated that extensive resources have been made available to train, equip, deploy and sustain an independent and potent security force to meet any and every threat emanating from any quarter," the statement released after the graduation parade of a fresh batch of 700 SPD Security Force trainees in Rawalpindi yesterday said.

Tahir expressed his determination that no stone would be left unturned in making the defence of country`s nuclear installations and assets impregnable. The trainee batch had successfully completed six months of training in various realms of nuclear security.

Talking about the 8,000 recruits, Tahir said, "This comprises handpicked officers and men, who are physically robust, mentally sharp and equipped with modern weapons and equipment, trained in technical skills to the best international standards and practices."

The senior military official claimed the rapid accomplishment of the plan would deter and defeat all types of threats against Pakistan`s nuclear capability.