NATO ‘concerned’ about Pakistan’s nuclear security

Published: May 25, 2011
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (2L) gestures during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) at the Presidential palace in Kabul on May 24, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (2L) gestures during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) at the Presidential palace in Kabul on May 24, 2011. PHOTO: AFP


The head of Nato said on Tuesday he was confident Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe, but admitted it was a matter of concern, the day after the worst assault on Pakistan Navy’s airbase, PNS Mehran, in Karachi.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in Afghanistan on a one-day visit and met President Hamid Karzai to discuss the transition of security from Nato -led troops to Afghan security forces, which is due to begin in July.

Rasmussen was asked if NATO was concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons after it took Pakistani forces 17 hours to reclaim control of the naval airbase from the attackers and following the death of Osama bin Laden.

“I feel confident that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is safe and well protected,” said Rasmussen. “But of course it is a matter of concern and we follow the situation closely.”

About the deadly Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, Rasmussen said that Nato would protect its troops and Afghans from militants based across the border in Pakistan, reiterating pledges by the United States to target insurgents there who have escalated attacks since Bin Laden’s death.

The Western nations blame the North Waziristan-based Haqqani network of Taliban militants for fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan – a charge denied by Islamabad.

“It is well known that there is cross-border activity and it… (is) a problem and a security challenge,” Rasmussen told reporters. “We will take  all necessary measures to protect the Afghan people and our own troops,” he said of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

Rasmussen’s words echoed comments by Obama and US Senator John Kerry, a Democrat close to his administration, who have both said the United States would consider all options in hunting out senior militants in Pakistan after killing al Qaeda leader bin Laden in a secret raid on May 2.

President Karzai, on his part, called on Pakistan for help “to cooperate with us seriously and by all means, in order to eliminate terrorism and its training bases”.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Watchman
    May 24, 2011 - 3:16PM

    Shouldn’t he be more worried about NATOs failed campaign in Afghanistan??Recommend

  • Ali Khan
    May 24, 2011 - 3:19PM

    At last the cat is out of the bagRecommend

  • adeel qadri
    May 24, 2011 - 3:50PM

    So the plan is unveiling. We know it right from the beginning. we knew after this attack on PNS base mehran. This news will be spread out in western media. and we also know who is behind all these attacks. CIA supported TTP.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    May 24, 2011 - 3:52PM

    USA and its Allies are planning this day from 10 years
    they afraid of ISLAMIC Nuclear bomb Recommend

  • Ari
    May 24, 2011 - 3:52PM


    He is worried.. that is what he is saying……in case you didn’t get itRecommend

  • May 24, 2011 - 4:05PM

    Finally the Nato is saying what they came for in Afghanistan in the first place to destablize Pakistan by aiding the terrorist groups through their intelligence agencies and doing propaganda that Pakistan’s nukes are unsafe. Using it as a pretext to take Pakistan’s nukes so that hypocrite India can attack Pakistan Godforbidden. Recommend

  • ALI
    May 24, 2011 - 4:27PM

    I think you are worried even more then him :PRecommend

  • Enraged
    May 24, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Ok, the plan is out every one in west is after our nukes/strategic assets, the writing is on the wall blah blah blah . . . . . But the million dollar question is what are ‘WE’ going to do about it?Recommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    May 24, 2011 - 5:36PM

    I hope they are safe, but a neutral person or institution would be right in expressing their concern.

    This should not seen as belittling Pakistan. What if the breach in security really happens? Should Pakistan not be concerned?

    Will it be not be dissaster for Pakistan, if a captured device is used in Pakistan [or elsewhere]?Recommend

  • Asad Hasan
    May 24, 2011 - 5:40PM

    Oh, the nuclear weapons, they will be safe all right. Conditions apply ofcourse:

    No more than 4 attackers.
    No night time attack.
    Only frontal attacks will be tolerated, backside infiltration will be frowned upon.
    Atleast 3 minutes lag time must be allowed, the time it takes for our commandos to reach the base. Any damage in this time is acceptable by our lofty standards.
    If the attackers come in any other dress than Shalwar Kameez – such as Start Wars dress code, we are not responsible.
    There better not be any women attackers, as they are not allowed.
    Other conditions also apply. These will be disclosed only if the attack is successful.

  • Khalid Javed
    May 24, 2011 - 5:41PM

    Expect series of similar attacks to highlight Pakistan’s Nuke’s vulnerability & Pak incapability to safegaurd. ……..Karachi Military Base elaborate attack was one of the episodes of the drama which began with Osama killing.. . Recommend

  • paindo
    May 24, 2011 - 5:45PM

    they are paving the way for their nefarious design.Recommend

  • saqib Jahanzeb
    May 24, 2011 - 5:51PM

    few questions:

    1:Are nuclear arms are safe now in Iraq? Any one seen?
    2:Why Saudiarabia and other small muslim countries afraid of America?
    3:Why America and other non-muslim countries cannot bear iran and Pakistan?
    4:Why Un office is in america?
    5:WhyUN , NATO, EU, all worship america?

    Solution to safe Pakistan:

    1: We should throw afghanis out of pakistan immediately.
    2: Educate Taliban and give them jobs.
    3: Close american embassy from Pakistan.
    4: Hire Think tanks from Chaina and from other developed countries.
    5: make a law that there must be no afghani, chechen, uzbak will remain in pakistan after some given deadline otherwise he would have to remain in jail for a long time, so strict rules should be made for this issue.
    6: this is the time Pakistan should say every one to mind your own business and should become Ally of Chaina , Russia and Iran.
    7: ISI should stop sharing information with CIA imidiately.
    8: We should boycott american and europeon products when every thing is available cheaper with China and Russia.
    9: please convey Hamid Karzai when he has grown up in Pakistan , so he should have some curtsey.
    10: Pakistan should make a think tank asap. please involve people like kamran khan, mushahid hussain, Talat mahmood (aaj/ dawn news), lt gen R Talat, Hameed Gul, Najam sthi, Ayaz Amir, Chaudhary Nisar, Imran Khan, and few others.

    Best Regards,

  • M Khan
    May 24, 2011 - 6:01PM

    For 65 years we couldn’t establish a single police station in FATA let alone having complete law & order … Can some one ask our govt & Army etc WHY??
    Imran Khan wants USA to not hit FATA but shouldn’t we be worried more about foreigners in that area and about their illegal activities (Arabs uzbeks chechens etc) What are they doing in that area which in theory at least is called Pakistan?
    Ok Lets assume these ppl who come from FATA are paid by some one abc .. but if some one pays your brother to beat you & your parents & your siblings and start smashing windows in your house etc What would you do first ? Kick the hell out of your own brother first or leave him to keep doing the damage and go out to find the people who has paid him (without any proof but only based on assumption).
    Last question can’t we change foreign policies for time being at least, when our own house is totally on fire now, and keep aside Kashmir issue and all those beasts ( so called non-state actors) as Musharraf says no one is indispensable??. And also I never got to the bottom of this naive policy of not having any diplomatic relations with Israel that we always blame for our own pains, What have they done to Pakistan that we have shun them completely knowing very well they also control the US foreign policy around the world.

  • anuj mehta
    May 24, 2011 - 6:10PM

    @ Enraged
    I have the answer.. NOTHING…..Pakistan can not do anything about it, as it has done nothing in the past to protect its sovereignty, self-respect and civilians…….the only thing you guys best do is to blame india for everything and let your army loot you in name of indiphobia…..
    Come on man, were not we the same when we fought for independence from British Raj……United India has participated to throw the British out… guys need to fight for independence once again…….safety of nukes is real concern and not even china would support you in that… wake up and change the state of your country… your army and your politicians right place……Recommend

  • KM
    May 24, 2011 - 7:36PM

    We need good media campaigning all across, confirming that CIA and TTP are ONE.Recommend

  • Atheist, India
    May 24, 2011 - 7:40PM

    Sweet. The story is turning out as India always wanted to. This is the sweet land of Vindication.Recommend

  • Faisal
    May 24, 2011 - 7:47PM

    Just think… What will happen, if terrorist attack on an atomic plant. The radiation will start leaking and can kill thousands of people.

    The truth is that our politicians and army can’t handle few terrorists or a small flood. Do you guys believe that in case of any nuclear incident, our politicians or army will be able to control the leakage. No way!!!!!!!! Only ordinary people will die.

    Please open your eyes; our army could not control few thousand terrorist in last 10 years. They are not capable. They play emotional songs on media and make you love them as the only saviors and take big part of your budget.Recommend

  • mahmood
    May 24, 2011 - 8:14PM

    When you have weapons of mass destruction it’s only logical that the rest of the World is concerned about whether they are properly safeguarded. Pakistan hasn’t done a great job of presenting an image of a professional/competent military so expect to see this issue arise after ever blunder.Recommend

  • Think_Logically
    May 24, 2011 - 9:03PM

    As long as the progressive and tolerent nation (minus extremists and their sympathisers) is there to stand with Pakistan’s brave army, no one can dare have ill designs on our peace-guarantor nukes.Recommend

  • Santosh
    May 25, 2011 - 9:03AM

    A terrorist state with nuclear weapons. Sanctions are the answer.Recommend

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