Musharrafs ouster caused shudders in Washington about handling of Paks N-arsenal

September 15th, 2008 - 5:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Washington, Sept 15 (ANI): Even as it became amply clear that former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will vacate the presidency soon, shudders were felt in Washington as who would actually control the nuclear command after him, said a noted American journalist based in Washington .

He said that though the nuclear command authoritys leaders were Musharraf acolytes but they are thought to be military professionals first, and, therefore, responsible.

He claimed that the countrys nuclear arsenal was placed safely in the hands of military professionals, and added that though some of whom had sympathy towards the ISI and the Taliban.

David Sanger of the New York Times wrote this in the newspapers blog.

There were shudders felt in Washington over Pakistan even before Musharraf resigned in mid-August rather than face impeachment. Knowing Musharraf was on thin ice, the United States government had already run tabletop exercises in which a Pakistani descent into chaos would leave everyone wondering who was in control of that countrys nuclear arsenal. Would it be the new elected prime minister, whom the military deeply distrusts? The army? The small clique of trusted Musharraf aides who built the countrys nuclear security system, but no longer have a patron? he said.

He added: The worries about Pakistan and North Korea , two unsteady nuclear powers have begun to change thinking among officials in Washington who used to focus principally on the awful scenario that a nuclear weapon might pass straight from a government to a terrorist group.

He said that Pakistan s nuclear facilities were spread out and that India could not attack them.

The problem is that Pakistan has a great deal of nuclear material, and is making more at a quick pace. Its facilities are spread out, so that India could not easily attack them all. The intelligence service , the ISI, has deeply divided sympathies, with many supporting the Taliban and extremist causes. And the bulk of the military isnt much better, Sanger wrote in the blog.

He added: Pakistan has a sophisticated Nuclear Command Authority, with layers upon layers of protection, some of them installed with the help of a covert American program that has already spent more than 100 million dollars. (ANI)

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