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Pakistani nuclear weapons and the US

Seems like a strange topic, given that Pakistan is an independent country, and well within its rights to have a transition in whatever way in the wake of President Musharraf departing his presidency in any manner, coup, assassination, or any other way. However, in the wake of the campaign to make the army more Islamic, something that was started by the coup-leader, General Zia, there are grave doubts about what will happen to these weapons.
Why is the US so interested in what happens to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons ? It is not only nuclear weapons, but the whole technology involved, including blueprints, plans, material, scientists, etc who are involved. And right next to Pakistan, in fact, within Pakistan, in the Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan, is the force who are the most targeted group of people, people that the US would do anything to capture or kill. Due to the former agreement Pakistan had signed with the Taleban in these regions, it was made very easy for the Taleban to re-group, and for the leaders of Al-Qaeda to group there and plan further action against the US and other Western countries.

Maybe in order to take much more severe action against the militants, and to stave off wide-spread and growing public resentment against him, the President tried to impose emergency, but was in effect vetoed by the US. Pakistan is very dependent on the US right now for support, and maybe as long as Musharraf has promised to take action, the US will not act against him. But there can be no doubt that the US will not tolerate at any level the leakage of any of this technology to the Taleban, even if they have to send in special units to retrieve or destroy. Refer this story:

U.S. military intelligence officials are urgently assessing how secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons would be in the event President Gen. Pervez Musharraf were replaced as the nation’s leader, CNN has learned. Key questions in the assessment include who would control Pakistan’s nuclear weapons after a shift in power.
The United States has full knowledge about the location of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, according to the U.S. assessment. But the key questions, officials say, are what would happen and who would control the weapons in the hours after any change in government in case Musharraf were killed or overthrown.
Musharraf controls the loyalty of the commanders and senior officials in charge of the nuclear program, but those loyalties could shift at any point, officials say. The United States is not certain who might start controlling nuclear launch codes and weapons if that shift in power were to happen. There is also a growing understanding according to the U.S. analysis that Musharraf’s control over the military remains limited to certain top commanders and units, raising worries about whether he can maintain control over the long term.

This is a very serious issue. The US takes the matter of its security against nuclear threat very seriously, and no one should be surprised if the US already has some sort of control over the Pakistani nuclear facilities. In 2001, the US had threatened Pakistan if it did not withdraw support from the Taleban, and the same set of actors are still there on the stage; both President Bush and President Musharraf are in the same positions, and it is easy to believe that the US still has the same set of influence on Pakistan.

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