Home » International News » 2010 » December » December 2, 2010

Pak nuclear arsenal under "foolproof control and command system": Hasan

December 2, 2010 - London

Pakistan's High Commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, has dismissed fears raised in some classified US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website Wikileaks that its nuclear material may fall into terrorist hands.

Hasan said that the nuclear Arsenal in Pakistan were under a "foolproof control and command system".

"We have always been telling them straight forward that [the nuclear weapons] are in secure hands, they don't have to worry about it and we will protect them," the BBC quoted Hasan, as saying.

"They are the dearest assets that we have and we'll not allow anything to fall into any adventurer's hands," Hasan said.

In one of the latest cables to be released by Wikileaks, senior UK Foreign Office official Mariot Leslie told US diplomats in September 2009 that Britain had "deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons".

In another cable seven months earlier, former US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson told Washington: "Our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but rather the chance someone working in the government of Pakistan facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon."

Another cable concerning a US intelligence briefing in 2008 said: "Despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world."

Hasan further said that since the Pakistan government of President Asif Ali Zardari came to power 27 months ago "we have had a very successful, foolproof control and command system looking after the nuclear Arsenal".

The High Commissioner further admitted that the leaks of classified documents were harmful.You are dealing with the relationship with states. You have built them over the years and all of a sudden something gets out - it's top secret, it's classified, it harms the relationship," Hasan said.

He also said that Pakistan would not accept any US help on nuclear security "because we are a sovereign nation".


Comment on this story