New York, May 5 (ANI): While the United States has repeatedly asked Pakistan to provide more details about its nuclear sites due to the threat that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda poses, Pakistan officials have continuously deflected American requests, a report in a leading US daily said.
According to a New York Times report, some of the Pakistan officials believe that the US, if provided with the details of the country’s nukes, may be tempted to seize or even destroy the arsenal if it sees the fire of insurgency threatening to engulf the nuclear sites.
US officials said they have no choice other than to rely on the assurances given by Pakistan.
“We are largely relying on the assurances we have been hearing for years. The worse things get , the more strongly they hew to the line, ‘Don’t worry, we’ve got it under control,” a US official who has been involved in talks with Pakistan during Bush regime, said.
But it is also true that top officials of both the countries have never approached each other directly regarding the issue.
Britain too has raised concerns about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals. It is also concerned by the reports of Pakistan expanding its nuclear capabilities amid the precarious situation.
David Albright, former weapons inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has claimed that two plutonium-producing reactors are nearing completion at Khushab, about 160 miles south-west of the capital, Islamabad.
John Bolton, a hawkish former senior official in the Bush administration, had recently also expressed concerns over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities.
“There is a tangible risk that several weapons could slip out of military control. Such weapons could then find their way to Al Qaeda or other terrorists, with obvious global implications,” Bolton had said.
With the Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari scheduled to meet Obama tomorrow (Wednesday) on the sidelines of a tripartite summit, it is being expected that the issue would be taken for discussions between the two sides. (ANI)