Pakistan`s atomic weapons secure: US

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 14:56

Washington: Amid India`s concerns over the
danger of Pakistan`s nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of
terrorists, top US Commander Mike Mullen has said Islamabad`s
atomic weapons are secure.

"We have actually expended resources in support of
assisting them (Pakistan), our government has, not the
Pentagon, and they have responded positively in that regard,"
Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told
the Charlie Rose Show.

"So they are certainly aware of those concerns, they have
them themselves. I see them learning in that regard, so the
trend from my perspective is in the right direction, and where
we are as we speak is that those weapons are secure and I`m
comfortable with that," he said.

Mullen said he has raised the concern about the security
for nuclear weapons many a time with Pakistani army chief Gen
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

His comments came days after Defence Minister AK Antony
voiced concern over the "danger and threat" of Pakistan`s
nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of terrorists and said
India was closely monitoring the situation in the
neighbourhood.

"Our only worry is that Pakistan`s nuclear arsenal is
always in danger and threat of going into the hands of
militants and terrorists.... We are closely monitoring the
happenings around us," Antony said in New Delhi when asked
about American media reports on Pakistan`s nuclear stockpile.

Acknowledging that questions are being raised about the
US aid to Pakistan, Mullen said, on Tuesday, it is for the
Congress to decide.

"Certainly (there) has been an enormous amount of
discussion since the bin Laden raid about that. I think we`re
working our way through any adjustments which may occur," he
said.

"Certainly, we have expectations that this aid will be
challenged and that it will be discussed, in terms of focus.
And discussed in terms of, you know, `If you do this, we`ll do
this,` kind of thing. It`s a significant amount of money. We
know that," he said.

"I believe if we walk away from that part of the world,
we`ll be back in 10 or 20 years. It`ll be much more viral than
it is right now, as has been the case, since we left in 1989.

So I think we all have to work together to keep this going, to
bring the pressure we can, and to try -- in particular, on the
development side, the economic side. And in the end, that`s
really the answer in Pakistan, to focus there as well," Mullen
said.

PTI




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