Pak nuke site workers being screened for their religious affiliation: WSJ

December 1st, 2007 - 2:19 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Dec 1 (ANI): The Pakistan Government has introduced a screening policy for employees at its nuclear installations to differentiate the people who are affiliated with religious parties from those who are simply religious, officials have said.
In a report, based on interviews with officials at the Pakistan Strategic Plans Division, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that one employee recently was booted of the nuclear programme for passing out political pamphlets of an ultra-conservative Islamic party.
Officials, including a two-star general who was not identified, told the journal that the new policy was aimed at preventing religious fanatics from accessing the countrys nuclear assets.
“We dont mind people being religious, but we dont want people with extreme thoughts,” said the general.
The general said that the official recently sacked was also observed coaxing colleagues into joining him at a local mosque for party rallies.
Even though the employee did nothing illegal, his behaviour was deemed too disturbing, he added.
The electronics engineer who was fired for passing out pamphlets had been clearly warned, the general said, with an earlier job transfer out of a sensitive area.
Security agents continue to keep an eye on the engineer, he said.
“They know hes tutoring students in a small room off the side of his house,” the Dawn quoted the general, as saying.
In the interview, the unidentified general outlined a multi-layered system put in place over the past two years in line with the security methods of other nuclear powers.
The new programme delves into personal finances and political views, the WSJ reported.
The WSJ report acknowledged that the attempt to strike this delicate balance, between allowing faith and excluding fundamentalism, is difficult, as it meant probing degrees of religious sentiments. (ANI)

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