Pakistan has raised a 25,000-strong special force and put in place extensive measures to protect and manage its strategic assets, including its nuclear arsenal, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Saturday.

“A special security force of 25,000 personnel, who have been specially trained and provided sophisticated weapons, has been deployed to protect [the nuclear assets],” he said, winding up the debate on the 2013-14 budget in the National Assembly or Lower House of Parliament.

Pakistan has raised a special response force, a special escort force and a marine force, he said without giving details.

Besides, there are also counter-intelligence teams and a “personnel reliability programme” to oversee the strategic programme, he said.

The 25,000-strong security force has been equipped with the latest equipment and the personnel are fully prepared for “mobility on the ground or in the air”, he said.