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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid