Islamabad, New Delhi must reduce nuclear risk: Pak daily

The Daily Times suggested how in an editorial Friday: "First, nuclear risk reduction, ... implementing systems to prevent the accidental triggering of these weapons of mass slaughter (and) second, moving away, mutually, from expansion towards mutually agreed reductions."

Pakistan entered the nuclear arms race in the subcontinent to protect itself from the "original author of this race India".

Saying that its "arsenal is defensive and confined to a deterrent role", the editorial observed that any sensible person would recoil with horror at the prospect of nuclear weapons being used in South Asia, the close proximity of the contending countries and their neighbours posing a critical threat to all in the unthinkable event of "a nuclear exchange".

A report of the standing committee on defence regarding the National Command Authority (NCA) bill 2007 has been laid before the National Assembly.

The timing of the report’s presentation suggests to some observers the urgency of allaying the fears expressed by the Western media following journalist Seymour Hersh’s piece in the New Yorker regarding the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
"The greater concern is not about any external force gaining access to the arsenal. The apprehension being expressed concerns internal leakage of technology and/or the weapons themselves. The beneficiaries of such a hypothetical leakage, according to Western media reports, could be the terrorists operating within and around Pakistan."
The least likely scenario would be that a weapon could actually be spirited away by some inimical personnel.

"A nuclear weapon is not a piece of candy or a lollipop that can be secreted away in a pocket to be calmly taken away under the nose of tight security," the editorial said, adding: "Our weapons have been dispersed and rendered impossible to use without proper authorisation precisely to pre-empt any such possibility and even prevent the accidental use of these deadly weapons."

The real apprehension in the minds of those fundamentally hostile to the existence of this capability is that the very personnel charged with the responsibility to ensure their security may be infected sufficiently by jihadi ideology to consider leaking vital information and/or equipment to the terrorists currently battling against the Pakistani state.

It, however, assured that officials in positions of high authority have been emphasising consistently that no such threat exists or will be allowed to rear its head.

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