Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Saturday summoned the US ambassador to express its “disappointment and concern” after President Joe Biden called Pakistan “one of the most dangerous nations in the world.”
The president made the remark at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Los Angeles while discussing Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“This is a guy who understands what he wants, but has a huge, huge range of problems. How do we deal with that? How do we deal with that in terms of what’s going on in Russia? And that, I think, is perhaps one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any context,” Biden said at the event, according to a transcript released by the White House.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said his country takes nuclear security measures “with utmost seriousness.”
“Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and we are proud that our nuclear assets have the best safeguards as per IAEA requirements,” Sharif tweeted on Saturday.
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Pakistan’s acting foreign minister, Jauhar Saleem, summoned US Ambassador Donald Blome on Saturday and criticized the “baseless remarks”, saying they were “not based on reality or facts.”
“It was made clear that Pakistan was a responsible nuclear state and its impeccable management of the nuclear program and adherence to global standards and international best practices was well recognized, including by the IAEA,” a readout from Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.
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Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told reporters that any concerns about a nuclear power should be directed at India, with which Pakistan has fought wars over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Pakistan successfully tested a nuclear weapon for the first time in 1998.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.