Pak nukes safe: US, UK

Pak nukes safe: US, UK

Despite threat from ultras, country has control over arms

The comments come a day after the Taliban militants carried out an audacious attack on the army headquarters in Rawalpindi. “We have confidence in the Pakistani government and military’s control over its nuclear weapons,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a joint press conference with UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Pakistan faced a “mortal threat”, but there was no risk of its nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands, Miliband said.

Clinton said despite the attack on Saturday, the US remained confident about Pakistan’s control over its nuclear weapons. “Yesterday (Saturday) was another reminder that extremists ... are increasingly threatening the authority of the state, but we see no evidence they are going to take over the state,” Clinton said. Talking about Iran, Clinton warned that the international community would not wait “indefinitely” for Tehran to meet its obligations on its nuclear programme, while Miliband said Iran would never have a better opportunity to establish normal ties with the rest of the world. Clinton said that their joint resolve in the fight against the Taliban was “strong and clear”, and that they were determined to work with the new Afghan government.

Comprehensive update
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama on Sunday received a comprehensive update on the situation in Pakistan at his “situation room” meeting with top intelligence, defence and security aides. “The president received a comprehensive intelligence and counter-terrorism assessment as well as an assessment of the political and diplomatic situation,” a White House official said after the meeting which lasted for more than three hours. Obama continues to look for ways to improve cooperation, and to continue disrupting, dismantling and defeating al-Qaeda, the official said.

The meeting was held amid uproar in Pakistan on the US aid through the Kerry-Lugar bill with the Pakistan Army and opposition parties expressing concerns over the conditions imposed on it in lieu of the military aid.