Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pakistan nuclear fears detailed by WikiLeaks

Pakistan nuclear fears detailed by WikiLeaks

Pakistani policemen stand guard at a security check point in Karachi
Some of the leaked documents describe Pakistan as suffering from inflation, unemployment and deteriorating law and order. (AFP: Asif Hassan)
Fears that Pakistan's nuclear material could fall into the hands of terrorists have been discussed in secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

The latest tranche of the US documents also discuss concerns over Pakistan's nuclear program which is producing weapons faster than any country in the world.
WikiLeaks has been drip-feeding the 250,000 cables to the media since the weekend and a picture is emerging of the threat posed by Pakistan's nuclear program.

Last year the US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, repeatedly raised the alarm.
In February she wrote: "Our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but rather the chance someone working in government facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon."

Later she upped the ante, saying there was a stockpile of highly enriched uranium which had been sitting for years near an ageing research reactor.
Ms Patterson said there was enough material to build several dirty bombs or an actual nuclear bomb if the material fell into the hands of people who had the right expertise.
The stockpile is still there.

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