Nuke crown jewel of Pak is deterrent against India: Mullen

Pakistan believes that nuclear weapons are its "crown jewels" and a deterrent against India, a top US military official has said, even as he expressed deep concern over the safety of the nukes in the country.

Updated: Jun 30, 2010, 23:43 PM IST

Washington: Pakistan believes that
nuclear weapons are its "crown jewels" and a deterrent against
India, a top US military official has said, even as he
expressed deep concern over the safety of the nukes in the
country.
"These (nuclear weapons) are their crown jewels,"
Admiral Mike Mullen Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said
in an interactive interview with David Sanger, chief
Washington correspondent of The New York Times, at the Aspen
Security Form on Tuesday.
"As much as we are focused on this threat (to their
nuclear weapons), I think they are much more than they used to
be. They have got -- you know, they see a threat from India. I
mean, that`s -- and this is their deterrent, specifically,"
Mullen said.

"So they view this as a huge, huge part of their
long-term security. And thus, they haven`t opened the doors
up. And I don`t expect to go next trip and say, okay, now
we`ll open the doors," he said in response to a question on
the status of Pakistan nuclear weapons.

At the same time, Mullen expressed his deep concern
over the safety of the nuclear weapons in Pakistan.

"I wouldn`t specify the particular path of
proliferation, but I am certainly extremely concerned about
the potential there. Now, again, they`ve taken significant
steps and it`s something we`re working very hard with them
on," he said in response to a question.

PTI