News / Asia

Reported US Surveillance of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program Raises Questions

Reported US Surveillance of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program Raises Questionsi
X
September 10, 2013 9:36 PM
A recent Washington Post article reporting that the United States has stepped up surveillance of Pakistan's nuclear program has once again raised questions about the bilateral relationship between Washington and Islambad. As VOA's Kokab Farshori reports, the reported surveillance has focused new attention on the issue of mutual trust in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
Kokab Farshori
A recent Washington Post article reporting that the United States has stepped up surveillance of Pakistan's nuclear program has once again raised questions about the bilateral relationship between Washington and Islambad.  The reported surveillance has focused new attention on the issue of mutual trust in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
 
Pakistan has always maintained its nuclear arms are totally secure and has rejected any suggestion they could fall into the wrong hands.  

But the recent Post article based on what it said are classified documents reported that Washington has increased surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms.  

Does this reflect U.S. distrust of Pakistan?  

"The United States helps Pakistan to establish frames of reference and abilities to safeguard material, but then, at the same time, there is not the same kind of transparency to allow the United States to go in and verify those activities," said Thomas Lynch, a Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University in Washington D.C.   So, the United States, being a large country, doing the same things that it does with other countries with nuclear programs, expends capital and expends energy to determine if the assistance is having the desired effect."

But he adds such reports are bound to raise concerns in Islamabad over U.S. intentions towards Pakistan’s nuclear program.

"I think most American policymakers recognize that in Pakistan, this kind of activity gets morphed into a dramatic worry that the United States is spying on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in order to take them or eliminate them," LYnch said. "That fear is understandable, but it is quite overblown."

After the story appeared in the Post, Pakistan reiterated that the command and control structure of its nuclear program is completely safe. Experts say while there may be some distrust in U.S.-Pakistan relations, the two countries are united by vital common interests.  

"Mutual interests are prevalent throughout the spectrum," said Aqab Malik, who is a Carnegie Fellow at the New America Foundation. "And it’s about balancing those interests with the negative threats that may emanate from each side.  It’s a balancing act.  And overall strategic interest is much greater than the threats against each other."

And Malik is optimistic about the direction of the U.S.-Pakistan relations.

"Pakistan and the United States have established strategic dialogue again.  They reinitiated it," he said.  ?The new government wants to facilitate better relationships with Afghanistan and India, as well as the United States and other countries."  

Analysts stress that eliminating threats from militants and ensuring the safety of U.S. troops as they withdraw from Afghanistan should be the main priority for Washington and Islamabad.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid