Gates: Little chance of Taliban getting Pakistan’s nukes

May 8th, 2009 - 12:40 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, May 7 (DPA) US Defence Secretary Roberts Gates said here Thursday that the Taliban’s reach to “within dozens of kilometers of Islamabad” served as an alarm to the country, but expressed confidence that there was little chance for the militants to access the country’s nuclear weapons.
Gates, who was speaking in press conference in the capital Kabul, said that the Taliban in western part of Pakistan had “overreached” with their recent offensive in a district, which is “within dozens of kilometres of Islamabad.”

“I think there is very little chance of Taliban in Pakistan achieving a level of success that would give them access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,” he added, however.

He said the Taliban’s advance towards the capital served “as an alarm for the Pakistani government that these violent extremists in western part of Pakistan are a significant danger to the government of Pakistan.”

Praising recent military operations in the area, Gates said: “I believe that the reaction of the Pakistani army shows their recognition of the danger that exist in western part of the country.”

He ruled out any possibility that the US forces would cross the border from Afghanistan and attack the militants on the other side of the border.

“Our goal is to work with the Pakistani army as they deal with this problem and we are willing to do all we can to help them.”

Gates comments came a day after US President Barack Obama met his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts in Washington to discuss ways in fight against Taliban militants and their Al Qaeda allies based in tribal areas along the shared border between the two Islamic


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