Radical insiders, not Taliban real threat to Pak nukes: Experts

May 16th, 2009 - 2:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, May 16 (ANI): There has been a persistent tension in the international community regarding the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, and fears about it falling into the hands of the Taliban and other extremists has kept the world on tenterhooks.

If concerns of experts are anything to go by, the real danger to Pakistan’s nuclear establishments does not comes from extremists but from radical insiders within the government.

Head of the Physics Department at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy believes that the radicals among the educated,potential insiders, are in a more realistic position to abscond with nuclear material .

They are far more threatening than the extremists as they also know how to use the weapons, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

“The threat comes not from the ‘mountain barbarians’, but from Al Qaeda, together with their Islamist allies within the Pakistani state and society. These are urban people, engineers, technicians, people in fairly high offices,” Prof. Hoodbhoy said.

The United States has spent over 100 million dollars to help Pakistan beef up its nuclear security, but question still looms large over how safe these establishments are.

Former head of nuclear intelligence at the US Department of Energy, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen said there was not much transparency over how and where such a huge sum was spent.

“There’s not a lot of transparency into it, and going into it I think the US felt like that was acceptable,” Larssen said.

Larssen also believes that the real threat was from the insiders rather than outsiders snatching a usable warhead.

“My big concern is the insider threat combined with outsiders,” he said. (ANI)

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