Potential threats to Pak`s atomic weapons: US

The US said Pakistan was aware of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal.

Last Updated: Nov 07, 2011, 16:07 PM IST

Islamabad: Amid reports that US may dismantle
Pakistan`s nuclear arsenal, the American Embassy here today
said there were "potential threats" to Islamabad`s atomic
weapons from terrorists and that the country could still
improve its nuclear security programmes.

The US Embassy in Islamabad was reacting to a report in
the American journal, The Atlantic, which said the American
raid that killed Osama bin Laden at his Pakistani compound in
May had reinforced Islamabad`s longstanding fears that
Washington could try to dismantle the country`s nuclear
arsenal.

"The US government`s views have not changed regarding
nuclear security in Pakistan. We have confidence that the
government of Pakistan is well aware of the range of potential
threats to its nuclear arsenal and has accordingly given very
high priority to securing its nuclear weapons and materials
effectively," said a statement issued by the US Embassy.

"Pakistan has a professional, highly motivated, and
dedicated security force that fully understands the importance
of nuclear security," the statement said, a day after Pakistan
rubbished the US media report.

The embassy statement noted that US President Barack
Obama had declared at the Nuclear Security Summit in March
last year that he felt "confident about Pakistan`s security
around its nuclear weapons programmes".

The Pakistan government has already dismissed The
Atlantic`s report as "pure fiction".

Reacting to the report`s contention that the US had
plans to secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in the event of any
extremist threat, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua
had said no one should "underestimate" Pakistan`s capability
to defend its national interests.

The report was "part of a deliberate propaganda
campaign meant to mislead opinion. The surfacing of such
campaigns is not something new. It is orchestrated by quarters
that are inimical to Pakistan," Janjua said.

PTI