[Letter to the editor]Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are secure
Shen Dingli’s concerns about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are misplaced and seem outlandish (“Secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,” Overseas View, Jan.14).
While the turmoil in Pakistan has invited comments from many quarters with genuine concerns, the linking of certain acts of terrorism in Pakistan with doubts cast on the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets are an attempt to unnecessarily alarm ordinary people who may not be aware of the nature of multilayered security measures adopted by Pakistan for the safety of nuclear weapons.
The opinion in the article, to me, suggests that nuclear weapons are like melons available at a nuclear bazaar, which could fall into the hands of some passersby.
Pakistan’s strategic assets are as safe as that of any other nuclear weapons state. These assets are fully safeguarded and are secure under the protection of a well-established command and control system.
Mixing up terrorist acts ― which have unfortunately taken so many precious lives ― with the insecurity of nuclear assets are, to say the least, an unholy act, joining the chorus of some who are engaged in willfully spreading, and possibly with some ulterior motives, doubts on the iron-clad command and control system adopted in Pakistan for our nuclear assets’ safety.
Pakistan’s strategic assets are completely secure and the highest level of institutionalized protection is accorded to them. Pakistan’s strategic assets are under strong multilayered decision making, organizational, administrative and command and control structures.
The command and control system and export controls conform to the most stringent international standards. This has also been acknowledged as recently as this month by United States Senator Joe Lieberman who visited Pakistan and received first hand information about Pakistan’s system of nuclear checks and balances.
To me, it seems part of a campaign to exploit every opportunity to create a scare about the safety of the nuclear weapons in Pakistan.
Certain people find it difficult to accept that Pakistan acquired nuclear deterrence in the interest of its security and for peace and stability in the region.
Political stability in any country is the most desirable thing, but scare mongering by highlighting the possibility of strategic weapons falling into the wrong hands is most malicious, to say the least.
Shahid Bashir, Seoul