Meet the Press   |  January 01, 1910

Zardari on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal

May 10: Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari joins NBC’s David Gregory to discuss the size and location of his nation’s nuclear arsenal.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about Pakistan 's nuclear arsenal . There's been a question about the security of that arsenal. You've assured the world that those nuclear weapons are secure. But I wonder why you're continuing to add to your stockpile, add to your arsenal at what is described as a pretty fast rate when there's so much instability in the country?

MR. ZARDARI: That's, that's, that's not a fact. It's a, it's a position that some people have taken. We, we're not adding to our stockpile as such. Why do we need more?

MR. GREGORY: So you're not adding to your nuclear arsenal at all?

MR. ZARDARI: I don't think so, no.

MR. GREGORY: You don't -- do you know?

MR. ZARDARI: Even if I did, I wasn't going to tell you.

MR. GREGORY: There is a view that -- in the intelligence community in this country that it does not know where all the nuclear weapons are within Pakistan . Why not share that information so there could be a joint strategy to keep those weapons secure?

MR. ZARDARI: Why don't you do the same with other countries yourself? I think it's a sovereignty issue and we have a right to our own sovereignty. It's a sovereign country.

MR. GREGORY: Who's in control of Pakistan , you or the military?

MR. ZARDARI: I think the military is in control of their hemisphere and I'm in control of the whole country.

MR. GREGORY: Can they overrule you?

MR. ZARDARI: No. I can overrule them.

MR. GREGORY: Haven't they overruled you in the past?

MR. ZARDARI: No. We've gone to their position and they've come to our positions.

MR. GREGORY: But you still have final say?

MR. ZARDARI: The parliament has final say. It's the parliament that forms government, and I am a product of the parliament.

MR. GREGORY: But why is it when you wanted your intelligence chief to go to Mumbai you were overruled by your military?

MR. ZARDARI: No, it was not overruled by the military. They thought it was too, too soon. And eventually we've offered for the intelligence chief to meet.