Skip to comments.Pakistan rejects report questioning nuclear weapons' safety
Posted on 11/08/2009 8:43:33 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Pakistan on Sunday angrily rejected a media report that raised fears of a militant takeover of the Taliban-hit nation's nuclear weapons and suggested that the US had a hand in protecting the arsenal. In the latest issue of The New Yorker magazine, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that US officials had negotiated pacts with Pakistan to provide security for the nuclear arsenal in extreme circumstances.
It also raised the possibility that the threat to the security of the nuclear programme might come not from Taliban rebels battling the government, but from a "mutiny" by fundamentalist elements within the powerful military.
In response, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that the nation's nuclear materials "are completely safe and secure.
"Pakistan therefore does not require any foreign assistance in this regard," the statement said.
"Nor will Pakistan, as a sovereign state, ever allow any country to have direct or indirect access to its nuclear and strategic facilities. Any suggestion to this effect is simply preposterous."
Pakistan's government is fiercely protective and proud of its nuclear weapons programme, seen as a much-needed deterrent and defence against its arch-foe India, which also has nuclear capabilities.
But soaring attacks by Taliban insurgents -- who struck at the heart of the military establishment in a raid and hostage drama at army headquarters last month -- have raised jitters over the weapons' safety.
Hersh wrote in the The New Yorker that officials in Washington and Islamabad told him that agreements would allow specially trained American units to provide added security for the Pakistani arsenal in case of a crisis.
(Excerpt) Read more at spacewar.com ...
The most recent comments from Pakistani officials on the matter come from General Kidwai, who told visiting scholars from an Italian research institute that Pakistan does not possess any PALS or similar encoding systems (Cotta-Ramusino and Martellini). This same delegation found that the only significant security restriction to prevent unauthorized nuclear use was a “3-men rule” that required the concurrent agreement of 3 people on the decision to use the weapon.
Whew, what a relief! I mean, the odds of having 3 jihadists in the Paki army must be astronomical!
I'll sleep well knowing this...