Monday, 30 May 2011

A.Q Khan Says Preparation For Nuclear Strikes On India Continues

The Pakistani nuclear programme has been “running without any break” for the past 10 years and the process of uranium enrichment is in progress, too, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan claimed in an interview on Saturday.

“Although I have not been associated with the programme for the past 10 years, I know that it has been running without any break and the process of uranium enrichment is in progress,” the nuclear scientist said.

He said although the departments concerned were not giving “final shape to new nuclear weapons”, the material was being prepared and they could be assembled any time if required. Another bold face lie because it is out in the open that Pakistan is producing low level tactical nuclear weapon to be used against India.

Answering a question about safety of the nuclear assets, Dr Khan said neither the Taliban nor any external force could seize them because of a “highly secured system which has been improved gradually”.

He said the Pakistani nuclear assets were safe from day one and no country should be worried about them.

“We know how to protect our strength (nukes),” he said in reply to a question about statements from Washington and New Delhi that terrorists could seize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals.

He said nuclear weapons were not stored at one place and very few people knew about their location. “You can count these people on fingers who exactly know about the location of nuclear arsenals,” he said.

Most of the nuclear weapons made by the Khan Research Laboratories and other departments concerned had been handed over to the military authorities and the practice still continued.

“These weapons are lying in tunnels and safe houses where no one can access them, except very few relevant people,” Dr Khan said.

In reply to a question, he said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had made the security system of the Pakistani nuclear programme and nuclear assets foolproof and with the passage of time Gen Ziaul Haq, Gen Mirza Aslam Beg and Gen Abdul Waheed Kakar further beefed up security around them.

“Finally the Strategic Plans Division upgraded the system, making it inaccessible to any one inside and outside the country,” he said. Oh yeah like your military compound and airbases.

Asked if the Pakistani nuclear programme was running satisfactorily, Dr Khan said it was running well.

In reply to another question, the nuclear scientist said he often moved out of his residence because he had no fear about his security. “I have faith in Allah because no one can harm me if He protects me.”

The funny part about the whole interview is that no-where it is mentioned that he is the man who sold Iran,Libya and N.Korea nuclear secrets, he is the guy who has he worst record for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and then you go ahead and ask him about his view on Pakistani nuclear safety, that is a laugh because Mr. AQ khan will be the happiest person on this earth when the weapons fall into the hands of the Talibs.

Pakistan is the only country where the nuclear button is in the hands of the military. Moreover, senior civilian and military officials responsible for these weapons have a problematic track record in maintaining close control over them. A.Q. Khan, the head of the nation’s nuclear programme, was instrumental in making Pakistan the centre of the biggest nuclear proliferation network by leaking technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

While the military remains professional, it has also become deeply demoralized. The growing ‘Islamization’ of the younger generation of Pakistan’s military officers is well-recorded. There is a real danger of elements within Pakistan’s military-intelligence complex colluding with radical Islamist groups.

Nuclear proliferation has never been a first-order priority for the US when it comes to Pakistan. Now the chickens are coming home to roost as Pakistan’s military seems unable to take on the Islamist forces. The nation’s nuclear weapons seem within the reach of the extremist forces. The US has announced that there are contingency plans in place to deal with the possibility of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of militant groups. But it remains far from clear as to what exactly the US would be able to do if such an eventuality arose. Meanwhile, India needs to be aware of the potentially catastrophic implications of the collapse of governing authority in Pakistan.

So far, Indian leaders had little reason to doubt that their Pakistani counterparts would take rational decisions when it came to the use of nuclear weapons. That assumption might soon need revisiting if the present trends in Pakistan continue for much longer. The violence in Pakistan and all its attendant consequences in the nuclear realm point to the long-term costs of short-sighted policies followed by the West in countering proliferation.

India has a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons but has made clear if it were hit by a nuclear bomb from Pakistan it would strike back in force. Pakistan has indicated it would use its weapons if it believed its existence were threatened in a conventional war. Recent growth in its nuclear program has been seen as an attempt to develop a second strike capability.

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