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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

World

US keeping close watch on Pak nukes: Washington Post
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Washington, September 04, 2013
First Published: 02:20 IST(4/9/2013)
Last Updated: 02:25 IST(4/9/2013)

US intelligence focuses as much energy and resources on known adversaries such as al Qaeda, Iran and North Korea as an ally and beneficiary of billions of dollars in aid, Pakistan.

“No other nation draws as much scrutiny across so many categories of national security concern,” said The Washington Post based documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

These documents containing US budget for its intelligence agencies — therefore dubbed the “Black Budget” — showed US has increased surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and has previously undisclosed concerns about its chemical and biological weapons sites.

The Post said the documents exposed “broad new levels of US distrust” Pakistan, with worrying gaps in intelligence that agencies are scurrying to fill.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry reacted by saying it is fully committed to “objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation” and follows International Atomic Energy Agency standards.

“As a nuclear weapons state, Pakistan’s policy is characterized by restraint and responsibility,” it said in a statement.

Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, for one, is one of them.

And filling that gap is a leading priority, with the section on counter-proliferation devoting a lengthy section on it titled: Make Quantitative and Qualitative Progress against Pakistan Nuclear Gaps.

A Pakistan WMD Analysis Cell created for this purpose delivered a more “comprehensive understanding of strategic weapons security in Pakistan”.

But gaps persist, the report said. US intelligence was also focusing on the security of India’s nuclear programme, said the report, but did not elaborate.

The leaked budget documents also showed flagrant violation of human rights in extra-judicial killings carried out by Pakistani Army of suspected terrorists.

They even tried to kill civil rights activist Asma Jehangir.


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