A news report in The Washington Post titled “Top-secret U.S. intelligence files show new levels of distrust in Pakistan” has drawn a swift rebuttal from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The news report said that, “ [T]op-secret budget documents reveal an equally intense focus [as on adversaries] on one purported ally: Pakistan. No other nation draws as much scrutiny across so many categories of national security concern.”

The report adds that fears about the security of its nuclear programme are so pervasive that a budget section on containing the spread of illicit weapons divides the world into two categories: Pakistan and everybody else.

The disclosures, the report said: “Expose broad new levels of U.S. distrust in an already unsteady security partnership with Pakistan…They also reveal a more expansive effort to gather intelligence on Pakistan than U.S. officials have disclosed.”

It added “U.S. surveillance of Pakistan extends far beyond its nuclear programme. There are several references in the black budget to expanding U.S. scrutiny of chemical and biological laboratories. … U.S. intelligence officials fear that Islamists could seize materials from government-run laboratories.” Responding to a query regarding the report, a foreign office spokesperson said that Pakistan is fully committed to objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation. As a nuclear weapons state, Pakistan’s policy is characterised by restraint and responsibility.

“We follow best international practices and standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency ,”the statement added.