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Nuclear weapons not under threat: Pentagon

Top Pentagon officials have said that the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons is not under threat despite the current political crisis.

world Updated: Nov 16, 2007 11:06 IST

Top Pentagon officials have said that the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons is not under threat despite the current political crisis but have maintained that the US would have to be very careful about it.

"... I know there's been lots of discussion about the security of the nuclear weapons. I'd like to be very clear. I don't see any indication right now that security of those weapons is in jeopardy, but clearly we are very watchful, as we should be," the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said in a press conference.

"As far as operations are concerned, our military-to-military contacts and dialogue between leaders continue, and I've seen no disruption of that as a result of the emergency measures in place. I've also not seen and do not anticipate any interruption of the logistics through Pakistan at this point, he said.

"...No major changes to our military relationship with Pakistan. We'd certainly like to see the emergency measures end as soon as possible. But I believe militarily the situation is stable," Admiral Mullen said.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates, meanwhile said: "I'm not aware that we have either asked or received from the Pakistanis any reassurances. I have the sense people are comfortable."

"... I'm not going to make a call. I would say, though, that his ability to lead, to continue to be a partner in the war on terror very much depends on how developments unfold over the next few weeks in Pakistan....He needs to move beyond the emergency measures as quickly as possible," Gates said, adding I think our view is he needs to step out of army chief of staff role and become a civilian.