Pakistani Minister Insists Nuclear Weapons are Under Tightest Protections

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday said her country's nuclear weapons complex remains extremely well protected, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

"Nuclear security is both a global challenge and a national responsibility," Khar said in remarks at a senior-level U.N. meeting in New York on dealing with nuclear terrorism threats. "Over the years we have put in place extensive physical protection measures, robust command-and-control structures, comprehensive export controls and wide-ranging regulatory regimes."

Pakistan has in place rules governing the conveyance of atomic materials, their physical safeguards, how to handle and keep track of them as well as procedures for responding to a potential radiological incident, according to Khar. There are also regulations for limiting illegal sales and preventing cross-border proliferation.

"We have also developed technical solutions, personnel responsibility programs, and intelligence capabilities to deal with WMD-related terrorism," the foreign minister said.

Islamabad will continue to participate in global activities focused on enhancing regimes aimed at preventing acts of nuclear terror, Khar said.

Pakistan's nuclear weapons program is a big source of international concern due to the presence of multiple extremist organizations in the South Asian country that frequently mount attacks, sometimes not far from atomic installations. The country for years was one of the world's most dangerous nuclear proliferators, thanks to the actions of former head weapons developer Abdul Qadeer Khan. He operated a black market ring that sold sensitive technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Neighboring India is especially concerned about the possibility of nuclear terrorism from across the border. Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, in remarks at the closing of the annual U.N. General Assembly session on Tuesday, said "measures must be taken to reduce nuclear risks," according to an India Blooms News Service report.

Krishna additionally called for a "meaningful dialogue" between all countries with nuclear arsenals to "build trust and confidence for reducing the salience" that such deterrents have in their defense postures.

Oct. 2, 2012
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Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday said her country's nuclear weapons complex remains extremely well protected, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

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