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Pak considering shifting N-arsenal to China

LONDON, NOVEMBER 4: PAKISTAN is under pressure to move all or part of its nuclear weapons to China for safekeeping from fundamentalists and it is apprehensive of pre-emptive strikes on its nuclear sites by America, India or Israel to prevent the weapons falling into fundamentalist hands, media report said today quoting Pakistani sources. The threat to weapons widely regarded as the Pakistan military’s ‘‘crown jewels’’ has forced Islamabad ‘‘to consider removing warheads to China, Pakistan’s closest strategic ally in the region,’’ the Sunday Times reported.

The prospect that loose warheads might be loaded onto helicopters or moved around a region foaming with fundamentalist turmoil is adding to fears in Washington that the war in Afghanistan might provoke a nuclear crisis. According to the report, Abdul Sattar, the Pakistani Foreign Minister, insisted last week the arsenal was secure. But Washington officials have expressed mounting alarm that any coup attempt against General Pervez Musharraf, the military President, might put Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal at risk. Pakistani generals were appalled by one authoritative American report last week that an elite Pentagon undercover unit, trained to disarm nuclear weapons, was exploring plans for a mission inside Pakistan. (PTI)

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-- Robert Riggs (, November 05, 2001

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