US ‘gravely concerned’ about Taliban threat to Pak nukesMay 5th, 2009 - 12:41 pm ICT by ANI
London, May 5 (ANI): The United States has once again expressed fears about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of the Taliban, as the extremists continue to expand and establish their writ over new areas in the country and inch closer towards Islamabad.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said he is “gravely concerned” about the “crisis” Pakistan is facing.
Admiral Mullen said he is concerned over the issue, but also believes that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals were in safe custody for time being.
“We all recognize, obviously, the worst downside of with respect to Pakistan is that those nuclear weapons come under the control of terrorists. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t see that in any way imminent whatsoever at this particular point in time,” the Fox News quoted Admiral Mullen, as saying.
Speaking ahead of a trilateral summit between President Obama, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Admiral Mullen particularly expressed concern about the cross-purposes with which the political leadership and the military in Pakistan were working.
He said the Pakistan Army seems to be serious about the ‘existential threat’ that the Taliban poses, as it has initiated offensive against the extremists in some parts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), but added that it was too early to label the military offensive as a successful campaign.
“They’ve had some positive impact. Too soon to tell how long it’s going to be sustained and where it goes,” Admiral Mullen said.
Several top US officials have also raised concerns over the issue.
A senior U.S. official said that given the fact that the nuclear facilities in Pakistan is scattered, they probably are safe as of now.
“Not everything is known about the location of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. These sites are very sophisticated and because the system is in ‘piece parts’meaning, it is held in various locations , it is that much more secure,” hesaid. (ANI)
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