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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid