CIA chief confident of Pakistan nukes’ securityMay 19th, 2009 - 2:37 pm ICT by ANI
Los Angeles, May 19 (ANI): CIA Director Leon Panetta has said the United States does not know the location of all of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, but is confident the country has them secure.
Panetta spoke days after the top US military officer told Congress that there is evidence of Pakistan adding to its nuclear weapons systems and warheads.
The CIA director was asked about Pakistan’s nuclear program at a forum organized by the Pacific Council on International Policy, The News reported.
“We don’t have, frankly, the intelligence to know where they all are located,” Panetta said, adding the US is confident the Pakistani Government has a “pretty secure approach to try to protect these weapons.”
That security is something the US is watching, he said. “The last thing we want is to have the Taliban have access to nuclear weapons in Pakistan.”
At a congressional hearing last week, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked whether there was evidence that Pakistan was adding to its nuclear arsenal. He replied: “Yes.”
Pakistan is battling a growing Islamic insurgency with links to al-Qaida and the Taliban, and Washington is considering giving the government billions of dollars in aid to fight it.
Mullen said in Washington on Monday that the US has focused some aid in recent years on improving the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and the country has used it for that purpose. (ANI)
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