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NAVAL AIRBASE ATTACKS RAISES CONCERN OVER PAKISTAN NUKE ASSETS

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KARACHI, Pakistan -The daring commando-style raid on the Mehran naval airbase in Karachi has raised concerns over the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. If a handful of trained men can keep a maximum security military installation under siege for sixteen hours, it is impossible to believe they can't take control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
On Wednesday, once again blood flowed on a Pakistani street when a suicide bomber rammed his car into a police station in Peshawar in the morning. Every terror attack now is an audacious thumbing of the nose at Pakistan's security capability.
  • The most worrying and possibly the most humiliating of recent attacks was on Sunday when Tehrik-e-Taliban, in an attempt to avenge Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's death, attacked the high-security naval airbase PNS Mehran near Karachi. That night, Pakistan lost two American-built P-3C Orions, the country's most feared maritime surveillance, early warning and anti-submarine airplane.
  • The Mehran naval airbase is just a short distance away from one of the stock piles of nuclear weapons that Pakistan has spread across the country. The question is: Could terrorists target one such installation in the future?
  • Across the border in India too, there is a growing worry about the increasing vulnerability of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. Indian security analyst Brahma Chellaney told Headlines Today on Wednesday, "Pakistan has built up a terror infrastructure and now it is reaping a bitter harvest." Even NATO has expressed concern over the safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.
NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that even though they are confident that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is safe, it is a matter of serious concern nonetheless. NATO is following the situation closely. However, Pakistan is still in a mode of denial.
Source: Agency
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