Hindu Vivek Kendra
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Nuclear Duplicity From Pakistan

Nuclear Duplicity From Pakistan

Author: Editorial
Publication: The New York Times
Date: December 4, 2002

Few countries have improved their standing in American eyes as dramatically as Pakistan has in the past two years. Long shunned by Washington for its links to terrorism, its nuclear weapons program and autocratic military rule, Pakistan became a valued ally, mainly by abandoning its support of the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Now Pakistan's reputation is threatened once again. American intelligence agencies have recently confirmed that Islamabad provided indispensable help to North Korea's secret nuclear weapons program. That program threatens 100,000 American troops in Asia along with the people of Japan and South Korea.

Pakistan secretly developed nuclear weapons in the 1980's and 90's, but lacked the longer-range missiles required to threaten India's main cities and military bases with nuclear attack. North Korea had such missiles, but it needed nuclear bomb-making technology that could be easily concealed underground to prevent American satellite detection.

Pakistan provided Pyongyang with the perfect solution by sharing design plans of the uranium enrichment technology it had stolen from the West and used in its own secret nuclear program. In exchange, Pakistan got North Korean missile components, which Pyongyang also ships to Iran, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Egypt.

Neither country has shown the least hesitation about placing unconventional weapons in the hands of dangerous dictators. Pakistan claims to have ended its exchanges with North Korea, but the United States spotted a Pakistani plane picking up North Korean missile parts as recently as last summer. The Bush administration has warned Islamabad of unspecified "consequences" of this reckless traffic.

Pakistan's actions are not those of a reliable partner. Washington must make plain to its leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, that continued behavior of this sort will not be tolerated.

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