News / USA

Pakistan Dismisses Fears over Safety of its Nuclear Weapons

Pakistan  Dismisses Fears over Safety of  its Nuclear Weapons
Pakistan Dismisses Fears over Safety of its Nuclear Weapons

Pakistan's foreign office on Wednesday dismissed fears over the safety of the nation's nuclear weapons revealed in leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

The French News Agency quoted Pakistani foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit saying those "fears are misplaced."

U.S. diplomatic cables released by the website WikiLeaks show concerns about the security of Pakistani nuclear material and Islamabad's commitment to fighting insurgents along the country's border with Afghanistan.

The New York Times and The Guardian reported details of the cables Wednesday.

In a February 2009 cable, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, said American officials were concerned that someone working in a Pakistani nuclear facility could "gradually smuggle enough material out to make a weapon."

Another report said more financial or military assistance from the U.S. would not stop Pakistan from continuing to support Islamist militants, which Islamabad sees as part of its security strategy against rival India.

Meanwhile, Interpol has placed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most-wanted list after Sweden issued an arrest warrant for him as part of a rape investigation. The alert is likely to make international travel more difficult for Assange, whose whereabouts are unknown.

The latest round of leaked cables also said that small teams of U.S. special forces have operated inside Pakistan's tribal areas with the government's consent. They also show reports that Pakistan had delayed its promised transfer of spent nuclear fuel to the United States. Pakistani officials warned American officials that local media would portray the transfer as "the U.S. taking Pakistan's nuclear weapons."

The U.S. government is working to prevent future spills of U.S. secrets like the release of thousands of classified documents by WikiLeaks.

Officials said Tuesday that the U.S. State Department cut off the military's access to its database of diplomatic cables in an attempt to prevent another data leak.

Officials suspect a former intelligence analyst with access to the military's classified network - known as SIPRNet, or the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network - was the source for the leaked documents.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the WikiLeaks release is embarrassing, but is not having a big impact.

Cables released Tuesday reveal that most of the 200 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons based in Europe are located in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey. The countries have long been suspected of housing the warheads, but the leaked cables appear to be confirmation of that information.

A NATO spokeswoman told VOA Tuesday the leaking of any classified information, diplomatic or military, was "illegal, irresponsible and dangerous." Oana Lungescu declined further comment, saying that as a matter of policy NATO does not comment on classified information.

Other U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks say Afghan President Hamid Karzai freed detainees without trial in Afghanistan because they had powerful connections. Afghanistan has not commented on Tuesday's disclosure.

The United States has condemned the WikiLeaks release of more than a quarter-million sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables.

The website has not identified the source of the documents. A U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, was arrested earlier this year and is in military custody awaiting trial for allegedly leaking a 2007 video of a helicopter strike in Iraq and classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid counter-terror intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid