WASHINGTON: Former Pakistan President and Army Chief Pervez Musharraf has ruled out the possibility that Pakistan’s nuclear warheads were susceptible to attacks or theft from either the Americans or religious extremists.
"I don't think it is possible, from my military perspective, for anyone, including the United States to attack Pakistan's nuclear weapons that easily," he said.
Musharraf, speaking on a recorded CNN talk show GPS, said that "they [nuclear weapons] are very well dispersed and they are in very strong positions. And, also guarded." The show is due to be aired on Sunday.
When the host asked Musharraf about the process by which the warheads were moved, Musharraf said that while he was never given a “running commentary” about the movement, there were locations where the warheads were held and there were forces (the Strategic Plans Division) to look after them.
Asked whether Musharraf, during his time in power as head of the armed forces and Pakistan, was he satisfied with the level of security and the possibility of attack, or theft? The General answered that in his professional opinion, he did not believe the United States or anyone could attack them, “as simple as Osama bin Laden action”. He described the warheads as “very hard targets” in “places which are not accessible”.
The only scenario in which Musharraf saw the warheads falling into the hands of extremists was if religious extremists were to become the head of government, with the likelihood of that being remote.
“I don't think so. I don't - at the moment, religious parties don't even have four - they just have about three or four per cent of the total seats. And I don't see that happening in the near future," he said.