Islamabad, May 24: Alarm bells have started ringing in Pakistan's security establishment with the latest terrorist attack at the PNS Mehran in Karachi, with many fearing that as part of any so-called “Great game”, a sponsored “terrorist attack” could be launched on any of the country's nuclear sites to pave the way for a UN (read US) takeover of our nuke sites, writes Ansar Abbasi in The News, Islamabad.
While the Pakistani Army claims that the command and control system of Pakistani nukes is beyond not only the reach of terrorists but also capable of countering any foreign strike, there are serious apprehensions that "a conspiracy for a sponsored attack could not be ruled out to create doubts about Pakistan's capability", the report says.
This if solely for the purpose of paving the way through worldwide media propaganda to "denuclearise" Pakistan, says the report.
Despite US Senator John Kerry's recent statement that he was ready to write with his blood that Washington was not after Pakistan's nuclear programme, the United States is still seen as an “unreliable” friend, which can "stab Pakistan in the back" anytime, writes The News correspondent, evidently a hawk for the establishment.
The report reveals Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, while handing over a 14-page document to President Obama during his last year's visit to the US, had conveyed that there was a growing apprehension in Pakistan that Washington was destabilising Pakistan to denuclearise it.
"Because of the nature of the PNS Mehran attack and the very targeting of the all important P-3C Orion aircraft is believed to have a possible international connection to demoralise the Pakistan Navy after the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Army and the ISI have recently been under stern public scrutiny for their failures with regard to May 2 debacle", the report says.
The News report further says: "After the May 2 US Navy SEALS strike in Abbottabad, both the Pakistan military's top brass and the defence committee of the cabinet had discussed the security measures of the Pakistan's nuclear sites amidst fears that the US is capable of doing any adventure against Pakistan nuclear assets, which have always been a target of Americans.
"It is said that a case against Pakistan is cunningly being prepared by the US at the international level with the connivance of the international media. While Kerry was trying to win the trust of Pakistan that Pak-nukes are not US' target, the Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was later quoted to have said in a statement issued in Brussels that it is the collective responsibility of the international community to secure the nuclear assets of Pakistan.
"Additionally, the US and western media have also been talking of the Washington's contingency plan that includes the setting up of a highly trained special forces group to “get secured” the Pakistan's nuclear programme in case of any terrorist attack.
"Though the US administration and the American and western media have been publicly casting doubts about the possibility of Pak-nukes getting into the hands of terrorists, officially Washington knows and acknowledges that Pakistan has evolved a well-structured system of security for its nukes.
"This fact was even acknowledged by recent disclosures of WikiLeaks that said that there were 120,000-130,000 people directly involved in Pakistan's nuclear and missile programmes, working in these facilities and protecting them.
"It also acknowledged that Pakistan has evolved a well-structured system of security for its nuclear programme but the doubts about the nuclear programme of the only Muslim nuclear state are not dying out. Despite this excellent system of security protecting the nukes of the sole Muslim nuclear state, a State Department cable shows that Russians, like the Americans, Europeans, Indians and Israelis, raise their concern that these nukes might go into the hands of what they call Islamic extremists", the report concludes.