Wikileaks: Pakistan rejects US fears on nuclear arms
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has dismissed fears expressed in US diplomatic cables, released by whistle-blower website Wikileaks, that its nuclear material could fall into the hands of terrorists.
High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan said the material had a "foolproof control and command system".
The cables warn Pakistan is rapidly building its nuclear stockpile despite the country's growing instability.
International concerns over the security of Pakistan's nuclear materials are not new, nor is Pakistan the only country to attract such concerns.
But the stark language used in these confidential diplomatic cables gives us the clearest picture yet of what Western governments really fear - al-Qaeda or fellow jihadist militants getting their hands on enough nuclear material from Pakistan to build a crude nuclear device.
This is thought unlikely to be a full-scale nuclear bomb but more feasibly a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), consisting of radioactive material wrapped around conventional explosive.
If detonated it could scatter dangerous material over a wide area. The Pakistani media has expressed indignation in the past over any suggestion that the country's nuclear weapons programme is not secure.
Some commentators have suggested this is deliberate scaremongering by the West so as to eventually seize control of Pakistan's strategic weapons.
In one of the latest cables to be released by Wikileaks, senior UK Foreign Office official Mariot Leslie told US diplomats in September 2009 that Britain had "deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons". -PB News
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani talking with Cameron Munter, US Ambassador at PM House. -App