Pakistan's nuclear weapons are extremely secure and there are no extremists within the armed forces who could try to seize control of them in the current crisis, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf told CNN Sunday.
"I am very, very sure that the command and control setup that we have evolved for ourselves is very, very secure," Musharraf said in an interview with CNN.
Pakistan has of late witnessed a wave of anti-US demonstrations, threats by pro-Taliban activists to overthrow the government, and a flood of refugees from Afghanistan. However, some Pakistanis are reportedly making the trip in the opposite to direction, in order to fight what they see as a just war to protect innocent Muslims who might be targeted by the US.
The Pakistani leader nevertheless dismissed concerns that elements within the country's armed forces were sympathetic to the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime of neighboring Afghanistan and might try to make a grab for control of nuclear weapons.
"There is no chance of these assets falling into the hands of extremists," Musharraf said.
"The army is the most disciplined army in the world and there is no chance of any extremism coming into the army.
"We have an excellent command system. We have excellent traditions, and I don't see this doomsday scenario ever appearing," General Musharraf added.
Both Pakistan and India tested nuclear bombs in 1998 and immediately came under economic sanctions from the United States and other countries in protest at nuclear proliferation in the volatile region.
Washington, however, waived the sanctions on both countries earlier this month as it sought to shore up Pakistani support for a global war on terrorism that has so far centered on neighboring Afghanistan.
Musharraf also ruled out the use of Pakistani troops in any military operation in Afghanistan, saying that the United States still has not shared evidence with Pakistan proving that Islamic militant Osama bin Laden was responsible for terrorist attacks.
"I would not like Pakistanti troops to be crossing the borders into Afghanistan because I don't think that is a requirement from our troops," Musharraf told CNN.
"There is no evidence that has been shared with us as yet," Musharraf added, "So therefore all I know is from the television."
The Pakistani leader added that he expected Washington to share unclassified evidence supporting its assertion that Bin Laden was behind the deadly September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
"We have indications that parts of the evidence that would not have any confidentiality could be shared with us," Musharraf said.
Musharraf also expressed concern from the “danger” Afghanistan's ruling Tabiban regime faces from the growing international anti-terror coalition that is pressuring Kabul to hand over Bin Laden.
"Because all the coalition forming against them there certainly is a danger of damage coming to them," Musharraf said, adding that "hope is very dim" that the Taliban would meet US demands to turn over bin Laden,
"The signals that come out are not very encouraging," he said - Albawaba.com
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