Pakistan opens up its nuclear arsenal to the US

December 30, 2009 at 7:28 pm (Pakistan, Politics) (, )


pk-arsenal

The United States has been negotiating highly sensitive understandings with the Pakistani military about the security of Pakistan ’s nuclear arsenal, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the latest issue of The New Yorker magazine.The journalist wrote that during meetings with current and former officials in Washington and Islamabad, he was told that the agreements would allow specially trained American units to provide added security for the Pakistani arsenal in case of a crisis.At the same time, the Pakistani military would be given money to equip and train Pakistani soldiers and to improve their housing and facilities, the report says.

The arrangement serves as a safeguard in case of a quickly escalating confrontation with India but also makes the weapons vulnerable during shipment and reassembly, the report points out.‘We give comfort to each other, and the comfort level is good, because everybody respects everybody’s integrity,’ Hersh quoted Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as telling him in an interview about the security relationship with Washington . Meanwhile, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf acknowledged that his government had given US State Department non-proliferation experts insight into the command and control of the Pakistani arsenal and its on-site safety and security procedures, the report said. In Islamabad, US Embassy spokesman Larry Schwartz did not confirm or deny the report, but noted that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had recently stated that the United States had confidence in the ability of the Pakistani government to protect its nuclear programs and materials.

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