Wik­ileaks: Pak­istan re­jects US fears on nu­clear arms

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

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

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