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No intention of seizing Pakistan's nuclear weapons, says US

world Updated: Nov 10, 2009 10:20 IST
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The United States on Tuesday denied reports that it has plans to seize Pakistan's nuclear weapons, saying it has confidence on the ability of Islamabad to provide adequate security for their atomic arsenal.

"The US has no intention of seizing Pakistani nuclear weapons or material," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters at his daily news briefing.

Noting that the United States sees Pakistan as a key ally in war on terror and to foster regional stability, Kelly said: "We are working very closely with Pakistan on a number of important initiatives regarding regional security."

Acknowledging that the US does provide them with aid, he said, "As the Secretary (of State) has said, we have confidence in the ability of Pakistani Government to provide adequate security for their nuclear programmes and materials."

"We have a number of security assistance initiatives that are focused on strengthening counterinsurgency capacities to foster stability," Kelly said.

In an article published in the latest issue of The New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize winner journalist Seymour M Hersh, both current and former US officials said in interviews that the Obama Administration has been negotiating highly sensitive understandings with the Pakistani military.

"These would allow specially trained American units to provide added security for the Pakistani arsenal in case of a crisis," Hersh said.