PAUL L. WILLIAMS, PH.D Pakistan has been spending billions in aid from US taxpayers to build nuclear weapons that are expected to fall into the hands of the Taliban.
That’s the most of the latest revelations from Wikileaks.
From 2002 to 2010, Pakistan has received $18 billion in military and economic aid from Uncle Sam. Last February, President Obama requested and received an addition $3 billion in aid, raising the total to $20.7 billion.
Much of this money, according to The New York Times, has been misspent in preparing Pakistan for war against India.
Even more funds have been used to bolster Pakistan’s supply of nuclear weapons.
This might be all well and good, but the weapons are not secure and some are expected to fall into the hands of radical Islamists.
In one of the Wikileaks documents, senior UK Foreign Office official Mariot Leslie tells US diplomats that Britain has “deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons”.
In another document, US ambassador to Islamabad Anne Patterson informs Washington officials: “Our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but rather the chance someone working in government of Pakistan facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon.”
Still another Wikileak document concerning a US intelligence briefing reads: “Despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world.”
One of the most telling confidential communiqués shows that Russia shares US and UK concerns over Pakistan.
Yuri Korolev of the Russian foreign ministry warns US officials that “Islamists are not only seeking power in Pakistan but are also trying to get their hands on nuclear materials”.
“There are 120,000-130,000 people directly involved in Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs,” Mr. Korolev says in the leaked document. “There is no way to guarantee that all are 100% loyal and reliable.”
The US has condemned the Wikileaks disclosures as an attack on the world community.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the diplomatic service relied, as did other professions such as law and medicine, on confidential communications to conduct some important business.
She added the international partnerships the US had worked hard to build will withstand the challenge posed by the leak cables.