Pak has an image problem: Aziz

Hong Kong, August 12:

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said today that recent bombings in London and Egypt had “nothing to do with” his country, and vowed to fight terrorism. He also defended his country’s nuclear programme. “One of the challenges we face is an image problem,” Aziz told business leaders during a three-day visit to Hong Kong. “Recent events, for example, in the UK — people started wondering, ‘maybe this is linked to Pakistan.’ The truth is the people who participated, some of them... were second-generation people settled there, who were really local people,” he said. It has “nothing to do with us,” he said. Aziz stressed that Pakistan is “committed to our security environment”. “The number of foreigners coming today is the highest we’ve had in a long time,” he said. Aziz said Pakistan will not enter an arms race with India, and that his country’s nuclear programme helps maintain military balance. Asked whether it was wise for Pakistan to spend money on nuclear warheads, Aziz said: “Our defensive strategy is based on minimum critical deterrence.”