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Security of Pakistani Nuclear Assets - Interview of Director, SPD Pakistani NCA

Discussion in 'Pakistan Strategic Forces' started by EagleEyes, May 24, 2007.

  1. EagleEyes


    Oct 3, 2005
    +25 / 15,623 / -0
    United States
    Pakistan's Nuclear Controls​

    • 10 member National Command Authority in charge of all Nuclear Facilities

    • The president will be the authority’s chairman and the prime minister its vice-chairman. The authority will include ministers of foreign affairs, defence, interior, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, chiefs of army, navy and air force, and director-general of the Strategic Plans Division. The director-general of the Strategic Plans Division will be the authority’s secretary.

    • Standard "Two Man Rule" to authenticate access to nuclear release codes.

    • Nuclear Warheads "De-mated" from missiles or bomb casings, and components are to be put into operation only with the consent of a National Command Authority.

    • Pakistan has developed its own version of "Permissive Action Links," or PALs, a sophisticated type of lock the U.S. uses to prevent unauthorized launching.

    • A comprehensive, intrusive Personnel Reliability System (along the lines of one in the US) that monitors employees, before, during and after employment.

    • A ten thousand member Security Force, led by a two star General, dedicated to guarding the Nuclear facilities.

    • Possible "phony bunkers and dummy warheads" to deter raids, by internal and external threats.

    • Possibly between 100 to 200 nuclear warheads (Number of Missile Delivery Systems unknown)

    Pakistan’s nukes are safe, study by US fellow
    By Mariana Baabar

    ISLAMABAD: The implications of unrest in Pakistan for nuclear security in theory means that its nuclear weapons could be vulnerable to theft, illicit transfer or unintentional use if the army's discipline and command control structure faltered.

    This assessment has been made by Alex Stolar who is a Herbert Scoville Jr Peace Fellow with the Stimson Center's South Asia Programme.

    In his paper Stolar says that the bad news is that Pakistan's domestic unrest will continue and grow worse without the restoration of a representative government, and that extremists have many ways to further destabilize Pakistan.

    Are Pakistan's bombs safe? In theory, Pakistan's nuclear weapons could be vulnerable to theft, illicit transfer, or unintentional use if the army's discipline and command and control structure faltered.

    Concerns about the security of Pakistan's weapons are greatest in the West when Pakistani politics enters a rough patch and during leadership changes.

    Unfortunately, unfounded fears about Pakistan's nuclear weapons have obscured more pressing threats. Radiological terrorism in Pakistan, as elsewhere, is possible. To conduct an act of radiological terrorism, extremists would need to fashion a radiological dispersal device (RDD) that consists of little more than conventional explosives and radiological materials that can be found in laboratories and hospitals. Though an RDD would cause few deaths, it could contaminate a large swath of land and stretch Pakistan's emergency response capabilities. Fortunately, these worst-case scenarios are highly unlikely. Pakistan has been through worse passages of political unrest. Intimidation, politically driven violence, and sectarian strife are all too common in Pakistani politics. If past experience is any guide, the current unrest will not lead to anarchy or chaos in Pakistan. The vast majority of Pakistanis desire a moderate and stable state, and the army has an institutional interest to prevent the breakdown of national authority and cohesion. Pakistan's weapons were secure during previous periods of political instability, and they are likely to remain the most protected national assets during the current unrest. There are no signs of a breakdown in command and control in the Pakistan Army.

    After the security leakages associated with A Q Khan, Pakistan's military leadership took important steps to establish improved safety and security practices. Pakistan's military authorities and civilian leaders also established a robust nuclear command and control structure after testing weapons in 1998. Today, the military's Strategic Plans Division devotes over 8,000 men, mostly undercover, to protecting Pakistan's weapons and fissile material. The Pakistani military is a highly capable and professional force. It is highly improbable that it would hand over its crown jewels to individuals or organizations that it cannot control during this period of unrest.

    It is equally unlikely that terrorist would be able to steal Pakistani nuclear weapons or fissile material. It is true that the fiat of the Pakistani state is being challenged throughout Pakistan, and especially in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. In the most troubled regions, police and military forces are struggling to maintain order. However, the installations that house Pakistan's nuclear weapons and fissile material, as would be expected, are heavily guarded and among the most secure facilities in all of Pakistan.

    Similarly, fears that the current unrest could lead to a takeover of the Pakistani government by extremists are also misplaced. Religious parties are an important element of Pakistani society, but their political clout remains limited. It is unlikely that religious parties could engineer a takeover of the Pakistani government, as they lack both the popular support and the military power that would be required. The political power of religious parties would be further diminished if General Pervez Musharraf would remove the shackles from the two major political parties in Pakistan that do not define themselves in religious terms.

    Extremists, however, need not resort to RDDs to wreak havoc and instill fear. As recent bombings have illustrated, detonating conventional explosives in a crowded area suffices to cause extraordinary suffering.

    With each bombing, President Musharraf's vision of an enlightened and moderate Pakistan seems more illusive. The unraveling of Musharraf's vision of enlightened moderation was not unpredictable. For far too long, Musharraf has avoided making hard choices on the most pressing problems which confront Pakistan-on madrasa reform, militancy in Kashmir, the resurgence of the Taliban, and democracy.

    Musharraf is now entering a critical period, and he faces very difficult choices about his future and the future of Pakistan. While most alarmist predictions about the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons are unlikely to materialize, instability is likely to increase unless Musharraf redirects the Pakistani ship of state.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2008
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  2. EagleEyes


    Oct 3, 2005
    +25 / 15,623 / -0
    United States
    U.S. Secretly Aids Pakistan in Guarding Nuclear Arms

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    Published: November 18, 2007

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 — Over the past six years, the Bush administration has spent almost $100 million on a highly classified program to help Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president, secure his country’s nuclear weapons, according to current and former senior administration officials.
    Skip to next paragraph
    Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press

    Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that he was confident about Pakistani security.
    Musharraf Refuses to Say When Emergency Will End (November 18, 2007)
    Bush Failed to See Musharraf’s Faults, Critics Contend (November 18, 2007)

    But with the future of that country’s leadership in doubt, debate is intensifying about whether Washington has done enough to help protect the warheads and laboratories, and whether Pakistan’s reluctance to reveal critical details about its arsenal has undercut the effectiveness of the continuing security effort.

    The aid, buried in secret portions of the federal budget, paid for the training of Pakistani personnel in the United States and the construction of a nuclear security training center in Pakistan, a facility that American officials say is nowhere near completion, even though it was supposed to be in operation this year.

    A raft of equipment — from helicopters to night-vision goggles to nuclear detection equipment — was given to Pakistan to help secure its nuclear material, its warheads, and the laboratories that were the site of the worst known case of nuclear proliferation in the atomic age.

    While American officials say that they believe the arsenal is safe at the moment, and that they take at face value Pakistani assurances that security is vastly improved, in many cases the Pakistani government has been reluctant to show American officials how or where the gear is actually used.

    That is because the Pakistanis do not want to reveal the locations of their weapons or the amount or type of new bomb-grade fuel the country is now producing.

    The American program was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when the Bush administration debated whether to share with Pakistan one of the crown jewels of American nuclear protection technology, known as “permissive action links,” or PALS, a system used to keep a weapon from detonating without proper codes and authorizations.

    In the end, despite past federal aid to France and Russia on delicate points of nuclear security, the administration decided that it could not share the system with the Pakistanis because of legal restrictions.

    In addition, the Pakistanis were suspicious that any American-made technology in their warheads could include a secret “kill switch,” enabling the Americans to turn off their weapons.

    While many nuclear experts in the federal government favored offering the PALS system because they considered Pakistan’s arsenal among the world’s most vulnerable to terrorist groups, some administration officials feared that sharing the technology would teach Pakistan too much about American weaponry. The same concern kept the Clinton administration from sharing the technology with China in the early 1990s.

    The New York Times has known details of the secret program for more than three years, based on interviews with a range of American officials and nuclear experts, some of whom were concerned that Pakistan’s arsenal remained vulnerable. The newspaper agreed to delay publication of the article after considering a request from the Bush administration, which argued that premature disclosure could hurt the effort to secure the weapons.

    Since then, some elements of the program have been discussed in the Pakistani news media and in a presentation late last year by the leader of Pakistan’s nuclear safety effort, Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai, who acknowledged receiving “international” help as he sought to assure Washington that all of the holes in Pakistan’s nuclear security infrastructure had been sealed.

    The Times told the administration last week that it was reopening its examination of the program in light of those disclosures and the current instability in Pakistan. Early this week, the White House withdrew its request that publication be withheld, though it was unwilling to discuss details of the program.

    In recent days, American officials have expressed confidence that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is well secured. “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,” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference on Thursday.

    Admiral Mullen’s carefully chosen words, a senior administration official said, were based on two separate intelligence assessments issued this month that had been summarized in briefings to Mr. Bush. Both concluded that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was safe under current conditions, and one also looked at laboratories and came to the same conclusion.

    Still, the Pakistani government’s reluctance to provide access has limited efforts to assess the situation. In particular, some American experts say they have less ability to look into the nuclear laboratories where highly enriched uranium is produced — including the laboratory named for Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man who sold Pakistan’s nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

    The secret program was designed by the Energy Department and the State Department, and it drew heavily from the effort over the past decade to secure nuclear weapons, stockpiles and materials in Russia and other former Soviet states. Much of the money for Pakistan was spent on physical security, like fencing and surveillance systems, and equipment for tracking nuclear material if it left secure areas.
    Skip to next paragraph
    Musharraf Refuses to Say When Emergency Will End (November 18, 2007)
    Bush Failed to See Musharraf’s Faults, Critics Contend (November 18, 2007)

    But while Pakistan is formally considered a “major non-NATO ally,” the program has been hindered by a deep suspicion among Pakistan’s military that the secret goal of the United States was to gather intelligence about how to locate and, if necessary, disable Pakistan’s arsenal, which is the pride of the country.

    “Everything has taken far longer than it should,” a former official involved in the program said in a recent interview, “and you are never sure what you really accomplished.”

    So far, the amount the United States has spent on the classified nuclear security program, less than $100 million, amounts to slightly less than one percent of the roughly $10 billion in known American aid to Pakistan since the Sept. 11 attacks. Most of that money has gone for assistance in counterterrorism activities against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

    The debate over sharing nuclear security technology began just before then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was sent to Islamabad after the Sept. 11 attacks, as the United States was preparing to invade Afghanistan.

    “There were a lot of people who feared that once we headed into Afghanistan, the Taliban would be looking for these weapons,” said a senior official who was involved. But a legal analysis found that aiding Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program — even if it was just with protective gear — would violate both international and American law.

    General Musharraf, in his memoir, “In the Line of Fire,” published last year, did not discuss any equipment, training or technology offered then, but wrote: “We were put under immense pressure by the United States regarding our nuclear and missile arsenal. The Americans’ concerns were based on two grounds. First, at this time they were not very sure of my job security, and they dreaded the possibility that an extremist successor government might get its hands on our strategic nuclear arsenal. Second, they doubted our ability to safeguard our assets.”

    General Musharraf was more specific in an interview two years ago for a Times documentary, “Nuclear Jihad: Can Terrorists Get the Bomb?” Asked about the equipment and training provided by Washington, he said, “Frankly, I really don’t know the details.” But he added: “This is an extremely sensitive matter in Pakistan. We don’t allow any foreign intrusion in our facilities. But, at the same time, we guarantee that the custodial arrangements that we brought about and implemented are already the best in the world.”

    Now that concern about General Musharraf’s ability to remain in power has been rekindled, so has the debate inside and outside the Bush administration about how much the program accomplished, and what it left unaccomplished. A second phase of the program, which would provide more equipment, helicopters and safety devices, is already being discussed in the administration, but its dimensions have not been determined.

    Harold M. Agnew, a former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory, which designed most of the United States’ nuclear arms, argued that recent federal reluctance to share warhead security technology was making the world more dangerous.

    “Lawyers say it’s classified,” Dr. Agnew said in an interview. “That’s nonsense. We should share this technology. Anybody who joins the club should be helped to get this.”

    “Whether it’s India or Pakistan or China or Iran,” he added, “the most important thing is that you want to make sure there is no unauthorized use. You want to make sure that the guys who have their hands on the weapons can’t use them without proper authorization.”

    In the past, officials say, the United States has shared ideas — but not technologies — about how to make the safeguards that lie at the heart of American weapons security. The system hinges on what is essentially a switch in the firing circuit that requires the would-be user to enter a numeric code that starts a timer for the weapon’s arming and detonation.

    Most switches disable themselves if the sequence of numbers entered turns out to be incorrect in a fixed number of tries, much like a bank ATM does. In some cases, the disabled link sets off a small explosion in the warhead to render it useless. Delicate design details involve how to bury the link deep inside a weapon to keep terrorists or enemies from disabling the safeguard.
    Skip to next paragraph
    Musharraf Refuses to Say When Emergency Will End (November 18, 2007)
    Bush Failed to See Musharraf’s Faults, Critics Contend (November 18, 2007)

    The most famous case of nuclear idea sharing involves France. Starting in the early 1970s, the United States government began a series of highly secretive discussions with French scientists to help them improve the country’s warheads.

    A potential impediment to such sharing was the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which bars cooperation between nations on weapons technology.

    To get around such legal prohibitions, Washington came up with a system of “negative guidance,” sometimes called “20 questions,” as detailed in a 1989 article in Foreign Policy. The system let United States scientists listen to French descriptions of warhead approaches and give guidance about whether the French were on the right track.

    Nuclear experts say sharing also took place after the cold war when the United States worried about the security of Russian nuclear arms and facilities. In that case, both countries declassified warhead information to expedite the transfer of safety and security information, according to federal nuclear scientists.

    But in the case of China, which has possessed nuclear weapons since the 1960s and is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Clinton administration decided that sharing PALS would be too risky. Experts inside the administration feared the technology would improve the Chinese warheads, and could give the Chinese insights into how American systems worked.

    Officials said Washington debated sharing security techniques with Pakistan on at least two occasions — right after it detonated its first nuclear arms in 1998, and after the terrorist attack on the United States in 2001.

    The debates pitted atomic scientists who favored technical sharing against federal officials at such places as the State Department who ruled that the transfers were illegal under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and under United States law.

    In the 1998 case, the Clinton administration still hoped it could roll back Pakistan’s nuclear program, forcing it to give up the weapons it had developed. That hope, never seen as very realistic, has been entirely given up by the Bush administration.

    The nuclear proliferation conducted by Mr. Khan, the Pakistani metallurgist who built a huge network to spread Pakistani technology, convinced the Pakistanis that they needed better protections.

    “Among the places in the world that we have to make sure we have done the maximum we can do, Pakistan is at the top of the list,” said John E. McLaughlin, who served as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, and played a crucial role in the intelligence collection that led to Mr. Khan’s downfall.

    “I am confident of two things,” he added. “That the Pakistanis are very serious about securing this material, but also that someone in Pakistan is very intent on getting their hands on it.”

    U.S. Secretly Aids Pakistan in Guarding Nuclear Arms - New York Times
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  3. AgNoStiC MuSliM

    AgNoStiC MuSliM PDF Veteran

    Jul 11, 2007
    +65 / 27,950 / -0
    United States
    Inside Pakistan's Drive To Guard Its A-Bombs



    November 29, 2007; Page A1

    RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- Inside Pakistan's nuclear program, scientists are allowed to grow long beards, pray five times a day and vote for this country's conservative Islamist politicians. Religious zeal doesn't bar them from working in top-secret weapons facilities.

    But religious extremism does. It's up to the program's internal watchdog, a security division authorized to snoop on its employees, to determine the difference -- and drive out those who breach the boundaries.

    In an interview, a top security official for Pakistan's nuclear program outlined a multilayered system put in place over the past two years to try to avoid the kind of devastating lapses uncovered in recent years. A series of rogue scientists were found to have sold secrets or met with al Qaeda leaders, finally spurring a screening-and-surveillance program along the lines the U.S. uses -- but with a greater focus on weeding out an increasingly religious generation of would-be scientists and engineers.

    With the regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf wobbling, the eyes of the world have refocused on the security of the atomic arsenal of Pakistan, long regarded as the most politically unstable of nuclear powers. Mr. Musharraf's move yesterday to relinquish his military leadership provided at least momentary calm. But worries that weapons technology or materials might leak out remain amid Pakistan's continuing turmoil.

    Pakistani officials say the most far-reaching change in their nuclear-security web is the Personnel Reliability Program, named after its model in the U.S. It involves a battery of checks aimed at rooting out human foibles such as lust, greed or depression that might lead one to betray national secrets. Like the security methods of other nuclear powers, the new Pakistani program delves into personal finances, political views and sexual histories.

    But it probes most deeply into degrees of religious fervor. One employee recently was booted from the nuclear program for passing out political pamphlets of an ultraconservative Islamic party and being observed coaxing colleagues into joining him at a local mosque for party rallies, said the security official, a two-star general who declined to be identified, citing the sensitive nature of his job. Even though the employee did nothing illegal, his behavior was deemed too disturbing.

    "We don't mind people being religious," said the general, sitting in a spartan office behind a code-locked door in a military compound, outside Pakistan's capital Islamabad. "But we don't want people with extreme thoughts." Security officials try to draw a line at people who are inclined to force their religious beliefs upon others, especially in the workplace; urging colleagues to attend Islamist political rallies is seen as less acceptable than quietly taking a break from work to pray.

    The attempt to strike this delicate balance, between allowing faith and excluding fundamentalism, is all the more difficult in a time of upheaval for this Muslim nation of 160 million people. Since July, Pakistan has been hard hit by an escalation in extremist violence, with an Islamist insurgency spreading from the lawless border area with Afghanistan -- widely believed to be the home of Osama bin Laden -- to Pakistan's major cities. That was one of the reasons President Musharraf gave for declaring a state of emergency Nov. 3, but the attacks haven't abated. Just last weekend, suicide bombers struck this heavily guarded garrison city, killing 35. Yesterday, Mr. Musharraf turned over control of the military to a handpicked successor; today, he is to be sworn in as a civilian president.

    Rising Tide

    Many experts say it is unlikely that Islamist militants would be able to penetrate Pakistan's nuclear establishment or to steal weapons. They see a bigger threat in a rising tide of young people inclined to be more religiously conservative -- and, spurred by the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, more anti-American. That includes the college campuses that are most likely to supply recruits to the nuclear program.

    "You can improve physical security by building high walls and establishing a well-guarded perimeter. It's much harder to defend against insiders," says Robert Einhorn, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and a former assistant secretary of state for weapons nonproliferation.

    Within Pakistan, a strong contingent opposing any nuclear weapons questions whether the recent attempts to improve the government's security screening are enough. Critics say religious conservatism gripping the applicant pool makes it too difficult to discern potentially dangerous zealots. "It's a source of worry that the secret institutions are seized with religious fervor," says Pervez Hoodbhoy, chairman of the physics department at Quaid-e-Azam University, a large source of scientists for Pakistan's nuclear program.

    Pakistan's allies, including the U.S., have expressed public confidence in the nation's controls. "I'd like to be very clear," Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters earlier this month in Washington. "I don't see any indication right now that security of those weapons is in jeopardy."

    But the U.S. has long had contingency plans in place under which American Special Forces operatives would deploy to Pakistan to secure nuclear-weapons sites in the event of an Islamic takeover. Some U.S. military and intelligence personnel fear that there may be additional weapons sites that the U.S. doesn't know about. "It's going to be some time before Pakistan overcomes the confidence deficit," says Mark Fitzpatrick, an arms-control specialist and senior fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

    Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is believed to contain about 50 warheads that, when mounted on missiles, are capable of striking anywhere in archrival India, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which recently produced a report on the program's history. It also estimated the arsenal, kept at secret, commando-guarded locations, could be expanded significantly with Pakistan's stockpile of weapons-grade material.

    Components and core materials are stored separately -- an additional security measure experts say is undertaken by both Pakistan and India. Those components are supposed to be put into operation only with the consent of a National Command Authority, comprising the country's top civilian and military leaders.

    Pakistan has worked to advance its technical security along with its human checks, introducing fingerprint and iris scanners that are commonplace in other countries' nuclear programs. According to current and former Pakistani nuclear officials, Pakistan has developed its own version of "Permissive Action Links," or PALs, a sophisticated type of lock the U.S. uses to prevent unauthorized launching.

    No country's program is immune from mishaps. Last month, the commander of a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy submarine was fired after failing to do safety checks and falsifying records to cover it up. In August, a B-52 bomber took off mistakenly carrying nuclear-tipped missiles. Both incidents caused embarrassment but no damage.

    But Pakistan's past security breakdowns have eroded the credibility of its assurances that its program is in safe hands. In 2004, A.Q. Khan, who headed a national research laboratory named after him, was placed under house arrest for selling nuclear secrets and materials to North Korea, Iran and Libya -- making a personal fortune in the process. In late 2001, acting on tips from U.S. intelligence, Pakistan detained two of its retired nuclear scientists who had met with members of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, including Mr. bin Laden.

    Some analysts suspect Pakistan continues to buy weapons materials on the black market, in part because of trouble procuring supplies through legitimate channels. That suggests to some that at least parts of the procurement network engineered by Mr. Kahn, still widely considered a national hero, remain active -- despite Pakistan's assertions that it has been shut down.

    The Bush administration has ruled out any plan to share nuclear technology with Pakistan, even as it seeks to complete such a pact for India's civilian power program. Nuclear suppliers have followed suit, denying some safety equipment that Pakistani nuclear officials say are meant for civilian use. For example, Pakistan hasn't been able to buy a system to monitor potentially problematic parts at its power reactors, say these officials.

    Pakistan's current emphasis on security marks a shift from its early focus on acquiring technology, rather than safeguarding it. That stemmed from a race with India to build the bomb, which culminated in 1998, when both countries conducted a series of tit-for-tat nuclear tests.

    More than two decades earlier, spurred by India's test of a nuclear device in 1974, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto built up the nuclear program around a coterie of patriotic scientists, among them the metallurgist Mr. Khan. As the program advanced, Mr. Khan assumed an ever-more powerful role, rising to head his own laboratory that operated free of much -- if any -- government control. Mr. Khan eventually turned his attentions to selling the secrets to other countries, including Iran. Current and former army commanders maintain Mr. Khan acted within a tiny circle without their knowledge. General Mizra Aslam Beg, then chief of army staff, says he told an Iranian military delegation shopping for technology and material in the 1990s that he couldn't help: He advised them to get what they wanted "like us, through the underworld."

    Weak Oversight

    A major early problem was weak oversight from the civilian government. Mr. Bhutto's daughter, Benazir, helped craft Pakistan's nuclear policies on exports and deterrence, yet says she was mostly kept out of the loop by the country's intelligence services while she was prime minister. Her successor, Nawaz Sharif -- who like Ms. Bhutto recently returned to Pakistan to challenge Mr. Musharraf's rule -- didn't fare any better during his two terms in office. At a 1999 meeting with President Clinton in Washington, Mr. Sharif says in an interview, U.S. intelligence informed him that Pakistani military transport planes were carrying used nuclear centrifuges, which can be used to produce weapons-grade uranium, out of the country.

    "No, no," Mr. Sharif recalls responding. "That couldn't happen." But before he could check out the allegations, he says, his government fell in Gen. Musharraf's military coup. A former director of the centrifuge program was later arrested.

    Internal Investigation

    Gen. Musharraf began to revamp Pakistan's nuclear bureaucracy. He established the National Command Authority and formalized the role of a secretariat, called the Strategic Plans Division, set up in 1998 to oversee the nuclear program's policies. Gen. Musharraf sidelined Mr. Khan, launched an internal investigation, and later publicly arrested him after the U.S. presented evidence of his misdeeds. When Mr. Khan confessed, however, Gen. Musharraf pardoned him. In ailing health, he still resides in his heavily guarded Islamabad home.

    Just after the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Pakistan's intelligence service detained two retired nuclear scientists who had met with senior members of al Qaeda, including Mr. bin Laden, during charity work in Afghanistan. One, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, was a former director at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and a controversial Islamic scholar who had postulated that energy could be harnessed from fiery spirits called djinns.

    Mr. Mahmood, who remains under house arrest, had sketched a rough diagram of a nuclear bomb for Mr. bin Laden during a meeting, Pakistani officials said. Pakistani intelligence agents later described the drawing as absurdly basic. But his unauthorized travel to Afghanistan highlighted gaping holes in the system. "Despite our proactive measures, it will haunt us," Air Commodore Khalid Banuri, a director in Pakistan's Strategic Plans Division, said of the bin Laden meeting. "I don't know for how many years."

    When news surfaced of the meeting, Air Commodore Banuri was in the U.S. on a fellowship studying how Pakistan could apply a Personnel Reliability Program at home. Later, the U.S. decided to help, according to two former directors of Pakistan's Strategic Plans Division. "We want to learn from the West's best practices," says one of them, Feroz Khan, who also is a retired brigadier general. "Why shouldn't the U.S. share this with developing countries?" After years of sensitive exchanges, it took until 2005 for Pakistan to put in place the U.S.-style reliability program.

    To hone its loyalty tests, Pakistan says it has departed from the U.S. program in significant ways. It focuses much less on drinking, for example, since consumption of alcohol is severely curtailed in Muslim Pakistan, and more on finances and religious beliefs.

    Recruits are subject to a battery of background checks that can take up to a year. New employees are monitored for months before moving into sensitive areas. They may also be subjected to periodic psychological exams and reports from fellow workers.

    For a handful of top scientists and military officials, life becomes a fishbowl of eavesdropped phone calls, tailed movements and monitored overseas travel, according to Feroz Khan, the former Strategic Plans Division director. Most top officials now are watched into retirement, usually while given undemanding advisory positions.

    "The system knows how to distinguish who is a 'fundo' [fundamentalist] and who is simply pious," he says.

    Pakistan's hardline Islamic parties have vigorously promoted the nation's nuclear program as a way for Muslim countries to combat American hegemony -- and don't share the government's concern about the kind of security lapses that alarm the U.S. In July, a senator for Pakistan's largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, criticized the government's confinement of A.Q. Khan as "an act of cruelty against one of the greatest benefactors of Pakistan... just to appease the American administration."

    At Quaid-e-Azam University, the nuclear critic Mr. Hoodbhoy says his students are more radical than a previous generation. They have come up through an education system that increasingly stresses Islamic ritual and come of age in a charged political environment. There's widespread sympathy for those fighting Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq, he adds, although most wouldn't want to live under a Taliban-like regime.

    On campus, young women stroll in groups along shrub-lined pathways, cloaked head to toe in scarves and gowns. "The students aren't conscious that they've changed, but this new dress would've looked so odd 30 ago," says Prof. Hoodbhoy. "Even five years ago."

    During lunch at the university, a group of graduate students huddle outside a physics classroom. One 22-year-old says he has applied for work at Khan Research Laboratories, known as KRL -- still named after the famous scientist despite his arrest.

    The student says he's not particularly religious, praying twice a day. He does worry about the security program, though, and asks not to be identified, thinking that talking to a reporter might jeopardize his job chances. "I'm under observation," he explains.

    The general who's a top security official says nuclear-program employees are well aware of the lines they can't cross. The electronics engineer who was fired for passing out pamphlets had been clearly warned, the general says, with an earlier job transfer out of a sensitive area. Today, security agents continue to keep an eye on the engineer, he adds. They know he's tutoring students in a small room off the side of his house.

    --Jay Solomon contributed to this article.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
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  4. Energon


    Oct 26, 2007
    +0 / 285 / -0
    Agnostic, very informative article. Kudos for posting it :tup:
  5. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

    Dec 26, 2005
    +167 / 51,420 / -6
    United States

    How about the B 52 that flew with live tactical nukes---which was stated that it was an error----

    How about if I said that----it started off as a tactical strike mission targetting iran----the flight took off----but some cool heads in the air force---who didnot want a nuclear strike / nuclear war, called the defence news radio station and leaked the news. Once the news got leaked, it came on the public domain---. The leak stopped the air strike right in its initial stages
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  6. fatman17


    Apr 24, 2007
    +78 / 32,540 / -0
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  7. AgNoStiC MuSliM

    AgNoStiC MuSliM PDF Veteran

    Jul 11, 2007
    +65 / 27,950 / -0
    United States
    Updating with a few more articles that outline Pakistan's nuclear controls:

    Crisis raises alarm over arsenal amid Pakistani turmoil, renewed concerns over nuclear weapons

    By David Wood
    Sun reporter
    November 8, 2007

    In striking ways, this is America's deepest worry: an Islamic nation in the world's most unstable region, home to al-Qaida's global headquarters, engaged in a shooting war with insurgents and radical terrorists, now beset with escalating political turmoil - and at the center of it all, an arsenal of nuclear bombs.

    Pakistan's growing turbulence is raising fears that al-Qaida and allied Islamist extremist groups, which have had deep roots inside Pakistan's intelligence services, will renew their determination to acquire a nuclear device, or that control of Pakistan's prized nuclear arsenal could be seized as a bargaining tool by a political faction or be used as a threat in a conflict inside Pakistan or in the region.

    "We will watch it quite closely," Army Lt. Gen. Carter F. Ham, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday. "Any time a nation that has nuclear weapons experiences a situation such as Pakistan is at present, that is a primary concern," he told reporters at the Pentagon, "and that's probably all I can say about that."

    "This is a bad one," agreed Robert S. Norris, a nuclear weapons expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

    Pakistan was thrown into a state of emergency Saturday when the president and military chief, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, suspended the constitution, shut down independent news media and arrested thousands as violent demonstrations erupted across the country.

    Pakistan's estimated arsenal of between 45 and 60 nuclear weapons is controlled by a 10-man National Command Authority (NCA) headed by Musharraf, said Pakistani Brig. Gen. Naeem Salik, who retired two years ago as a senior officer within the NCA.

    Pakistan's warheads "are kept under tight security. They are more than adequately guarded," Salik said in an interview yesterday. He said there is "a standard two-man rule" to authenticate access to nuclear release codes, a standard that is "universally" used by all nuclear weapons powers.

    Salik, currently a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, scoffed at the idea that the political crisis threatened the security of the nuclear arsenal. "A firecracker goes off, and the media starts jumping all over us," he said. "By the same analogy, when 9/11 happened, one could have asked what would become of America's nuclear weapons."

    The United States counts Pakistan as a close ally in what President Bush terms "the global war on terror" and has provided $10.58 billion in mostly military aid. Even so, U.S. officials seemed unclear about the outcome of the current crisis.

    A senior White House official, asked this week if it is "just a matter of time" until Musharraf is violently deposed, said: "You don't really know until it happens."

    The White House declined yesterday to comment on Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

    Military experts said U.S. options to intervene, if Pakistan's nuclear weapons are threatened or go missing, are limited. Any armed intervention would be met by stiff opposition from Pakistan's powerful military forces, said Dakota Wood, a retired Marine officer who is a senior analyst at the independent Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington.

    By any measure, Pakistan is under considerable strain. Aside from the political crisis, Pakistani military units recently have suffered humiliating defeats in the Northwest Frontier Province against Taliban and al-Qaida forces, raising questions about morale within the armed forces under Musharraf's direction. Suicide bombings sweeping Pakistan in recent months have killed more than 600, according to the Pakistani government.

    Since he seized control of Pakistan in 1999, Musharraf has survived at least four assassination attempts by Islamist radicals, most recently a week ago when a suicide bomber killed seven people in a blast near Musharraf's headquarters in Rawalpindi.

    Amid this turmoil, U.S. officials and private analysts acknowledged that little is known about the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, begun when Pakistan tested a nuclear device in 1998.

    Pakistan's National Command Authority, which controls the arsenal, consists of the president and prime minister, the civilian heads of major ministries, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and other senior military officers. "They sit in times of crisis, they have the codes with them," Salik said. "It is a clear-cut and defined line of authority."

    Pakistan's nuclear stockpile is thought to consist mostly of aircraft bombs fitted for U.S.-supplied F-16 fighter bombers, though Pakistan has recently tested the Shaheen-II missile, which can carry a warhead about 1,500 miles. In addition, Pakistan operates at least one nuclear reactor producing weapons-grade plutonium and is building a second plutonium reactor at a site in the Punjab, surrounded by six antiaircraft missile batteries, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental action organization that tracks U.S. and foreign nuclear weapons and facilities.

    The nuclear warheads are separated or "de-mated" from the missiles or bomb casings that would carry them in an attack, said Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, and might be stored in bunkers or a tunnel at the Sargodha air base and weapons complex west of Lahore near the Indian border.

    Nuclear weapons security at these sites has been beefed up considerably in the past five years, spurred by revelations that from the 1980s through 2003, Pakistan's senior nuclear scientist, A.Q. Khan, and some of his top associates had provided nuclear weapons designs and material to North Korea, Libya and Iran.

    Each Pakistani warhead is fitted with a permissive action link (PAL), a code-lock device that prevents unauthorized release of the weapon, Salik said. Pakistan has also set up a personnel reliability system of the type used by the United States to continually monitor the financial status, marital condition, mental health and other aspects of officials in the nuclear system to ensure they are not disloyal or vulnerable to bribery or blackmail. Also, Pakistan has a 10,000-member security force for its nuclear facilities, commanded by a two-star general.

    Many safety issues have been discussed at joint U.S.-Pakistani conferences in the United States in recent years, including one in April sponsored by the nonprofit Partnership for Global Security, a Washington organization dedicated to improving nuclear security.

    "The United States has been engaged with Pakistan on the question of nuclear security," said Kenneth N. Luongo, director of the organization. "It's not been widely publicized. The Pakistanis themselves have become quite serious about trying to provide assurances to the rest of the world that they're on the ball, and I think they've made some progress."

    But Salik stressed that Pakistan has not accepted U.S. technical advice on PALs or any other aspect of its nuclear program. "We have developed our own systems," he said. "The problem is that people won't grant that we can produce PALs even if we can produce our own nuclear weapons."
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  8. AgNoStiC MuSliM

    AgNoStiC MuSliM PDF Veteran

    Jul 11, 2007
    +65 / 27,950 / -0
    United States
    By: Anwar Iqbal

    WASHINGTON, Dec 2: US-sponsored wargames that simulate capturing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons to prevent them from falling into wrong hands are having a negative impact, experts say.

    On Sunday, The Washington Post carried a detailed report on such exercises, pointing out that the all such games came to the same conclusion: Pakistan’s cooperation -- particularly that of its military – was crucial.

    According to the Post, the US government has conducted several such games in recent years, examining various options and scenarios for Pakistan’s nuclear weapons: How many troops might be required for a military intervention in Pakistan? Could Pakistani nuclear bunkers be isolated by saturating the surrounding areas with tens of thousands of high-powered mines, dropped from the air and packed with anti-tank and anti-personnel munitions? Or might such a move only worsen the security of Pakistan’s arsenal?

    “Our best bet to secure Pakistan’s nuclear forces would be in a cooperative mode with the Pakistani military, not an adversarial one,” Scott Sagan, a Stanford University expert on counter-proliferation told the Post.

    Feroz Khan, a retired brigadier who until 2001 was the second-ranking officer in the Pakistani Strategic Plans Division, warned that holding wargames exploring the possibility of capturing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons might worsen the situation.

    Such exercises, he said, antagonised Pakistanis and might encourage the government in Islamabad to take countermeasures. “You might just want to remember Desert One,” he added, referring to the botched US mission to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980.

    As a result of US government studies of the nuclear issue, Pakistani officials had come to believe a US intervention “is a real threat now,” Mr Khan said. The Pakistani military almost certainly had taken steps to forestall such a raid, he said, such as creating phony bunkers that contain dummy nuclear warheads. He estimated that Pakistan’s current arsenal now contained about 80 to 120 genuine warheads, roughly double the figure usually cited by outside experts.

    Zia Mian, a Princeton University physicist and expert on nuclear proliferation in South Asia, agreed. “It may actually make things worse, to attempt that sort of thing,” he said. Among other negative repercussions, he predicted, any US effort to secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal “would really increase anti-Americanism.”

    US intelligence officials and counter-proliferation experts, interviewed by the Post, however, insisted that an internal break up could allow religious extremists in Pakistan to grab some of the nuclear, not necessarily to use them but to wield them as a symbol of authority.

    Robert B. Oakley, a former US ambassador to Pakistan, said that although US officials expressed confidence in the current security measures, the more they examined the risks, the more they realised that there were no good answers. “Everybody’s scrambling on this,” Mr Oakley said.

    One participant in last year’s game told the Post that there were no palatable ways to forcibly ensure the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons -- and that even studying scenarios for intervention could worsen the risks by undermining US-Pakistani cooperation.

    Mr Sagan argued that mere contemplation of a US intervention might actually increase the chances of terrorists acquiring a nuclear warhead. He said that in a crisis, the Pakistani government might begin to move its nuclear weapons from secure but known sites to more secret but less-secure locations.

    “If Pakistan fears they may be attacked,” he said, then the Pakistani military had an incentive “to take them out of the bunkers and put them out in the countryside”.

    In such locations, Mr Sagan concluded, the weapons would be more vulnerable to capture by bad actors. “It ironically increases the likelihood of terrorist seizure,” said Mr Sagan, who in the past had advised the Pentagon on nuclear strategy.

    He noted that Pakistan moved some of its arsenal in September 2001, when it feared it might be attacked. But Brig Khan said that Mr Sagan’s fears were misplaced. The weapons “are in secure bunkers, with multiple levels of security, and active and passive measures” to mask their presence, he said. And while he conceded that the Pakistani government moved some nuclear weapons in 2001, he said the shifts made the arsenal more secure, not less.
    Impact of US wargames on Pakistan N-arms ‘negative’ -DAWN - Top Stories; December 03, 2007
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  9. AgNoStiC MuSliM

    AgNoStiC MuSliM PDF Veteran

    Jul 11, 2007
    +65 / 27,950 / -0
    United States
    President to head Command Authority

    ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday sanctioned the creation of the National Command Authority, authorising it to “ensure security and safety of nuclear establishments, nuclear materials” and to safeguard all “information and technology related to the security and safety of the Strategic Organisation”.

    The ordinance, which comes into force with immediate effect, says the president will be the authority’s chairman and the prime minister its vice-chairman.

    The National Command Authority will have “complete command and control over research, development, production and use of nuclear and space technologies and other related applications in various fields and to provide for the safety and security of all personnel, facilities, information, installations or organisations and other activities or matters connected therewith …”

    According to the ordinance, the authority will include ministers of foreign affairs, defence, interior, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, chiefs of army, navy and air force, and director-general of the Strategic Plans Division. The director-general of the Strategic Plans Division will be the authority’s secretary.

    The ordinance authorises the authority to “ensure safety of serving or retired employees” and to “supervise, manage and coordinate the administration, management, control and audit of budget, programmes and projects … of the strategic organisations”.

    The authority has been authorised “to take measures regarding employees in respect of their movement, communication, privacy, assembly or association, in the public interest or in the interest of integrity, security or defence of Paksitan or friendly relations with foreign states and public order.”

    Under the ordinance, anyone who “commits, attempts, abets or continues the breach of national security shall … be liable to … imprisonment … for a term which may extend up to 25 years”.

    The employees of the National Command Authority will not be governed by the Industrial Relations Ordinance of 2002 and it overrides other laws like the Civil Servants Act of 1973 or the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Ordinance of 1965, the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission Ordinance of 1981 or “any other law or rules made there under for the time being in force and applicable to Strategic Organizations”.

    “Save as provided under this ordinance, no order made or proceeding taken under this ordinance, rules or regulations made there under by the Competent Authority or any officer or authority authorised by it shall be called in question in any court or administrative tribunal and no injunction shall be granted by such court or tribunal in respect of any decision made or proceedings taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Ordinance, rules or regulations made there under.” –APP
    President to head Command Authority -DAWN - Top Stories; December 14, 2007
  10. IceCold


    May 1, 2007
    +7 / 17,301 / -0
    The western media, they just dont wana let it go. An islamic nation, thats the main point a home to al-Qaida's global headquarters. Deep roots inside ISI. What bloody nonscense. Somehow they just dont want to think otherwise, they just continue their harping and harping and harping against pakistan and its nuclear weapons. Extremist which are not even 20% of the entire population and while the western surveys themselves have shown that majority of pakistani population are moderates, yet they are inclined to prove it otherwise. This was the same way they US use to rant against iraq and its weapons of mass destruction and yet it proved wrong, the same way they just dont wana think the other way about iran's nuclear programe. Every country has extremists. US too has it and actually the ones who are standing in the elections for the next president and they want to attack saudi-arabia, What would you call them who actually want to bomb saudi's with nuclear. Who will seize US nuclear weapons if an extremist comes in the command of the worlds biggest and strongest army. Yet the western bias media only sees the islamic militans that will seize pakistan's nuclear weapons like they are some sort of vegetables lying on the streets at some friday market in islamabad where they can just go and buy and the world will see a nuclear hollocast.
    The only thing this kind on nonscense is helping in is actually turning the moderates against US and even the government of musharraf who was considered a strong ally is forced to take counter measures and prevent the weapons from any misadventure likely possible from the US.
  11. Spartan King

    Spartan King FULL MEMBER

    Dec 13, 2007
    +0 / 2 / -0
    this surely i would say is not something we should be proud of, i believe that national security is of utmost importance, but but, isnt our religion first? as we are Muslims Allhumdolillah, shouldnt we keep Allah first? I myself am a die-hard Pakistani, but to me Allah and Islam's first and then Pakistan is next.
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  12. kidwaibhai

    kidwaibhai SENIOR MEMBER

    Sep 9, 2006
    +0 / 536 / -0
    the western journalist all talk about how all muslims are peaceful people but i think deep down they still harbor great prejudice and great ignorance about muslims and islam.
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  13. dabong1

    dabong1 <b>PDF VETERAN</b>

    Nov 28, 2006
    +1 / 1,263 / -0
    Pakistan learns the US nuclear way
    By Zia Mian

    The United States recently admitted that since the attacks of September 11, 2001, it has been helping Pakistan secure its nuclear weapons and the materials used to make them. Pakistan has welcomed this assistance. A former Pakistani general who was involved in the nuclear weapons complex has said that "we want to learn from the West's best practices".

    But the US track record for securing its own nuclear weapons, nuclear materials and weapons information isn't encouraging, to say the least. If the United States can't secure its own nuclear complex, why expect Pakistan to do it any better?

    On November 11, The Washington Post reported that the United States sent "tens of millions of dollars worth of equipment such as intrusion detectors and ID systems to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear weapons". A week later, The New York Times, which had been sitting on the story for three years, revealed that the program was in fact much larger, "Over the past six years, the Bush administration has spent almost $100 million on a highly classified program to help General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, secure his country's nuclear weapons." The assistance ranged from "helicopters to night-vision goggles to nuclear detection equipment".

    The US military claims to be confident about the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. A Pentagon press spokesman said, "At this point, we have no concerns. We believe that they are under the appropriate control." The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff declared, "I don't see any indication right now that security of those weapons is in jeopardy."

    Zero locks
    A concern about nuclear weapons security in Pakistan is that Islamists in the military may seize control of the weapons and try to use them. Pakistan claims to have followed the US example and installed coded combination-lock switches, known as Permissive Action Links, on its weapons.

    Since the 1960s, most US nuclear weapons are supposed to have been protected against unauthorized use by coded combination-lock switches that could only be activated by someone who knew that proper sequence of characters. These switches were introduced in 1962 by Robert McNamara when he was secretary of defense to ensure control over the use of US nuclear weapons.

    According to Bruce Blair, a former missile launch control officer, Strategic Air Command, which was responsible for the nuclear-armed missiles and bombers, installed the switches but set the combinations of all the locks to a string of zeros. The codes for launching US nuclear missiles apparently stayed set at 00000000 until the late 1970s. The reason? Strategic Air Command did not want there to be any problems or delays in launching the nuclear missiles caused by a more complex set of numbers.

    McNamara apparently did not know that the locks he had ordered to be installed on nuclear weapons were largely worthless, and that the military with direct control of the weapons were evading official instructions for securing nuclear missiles. He only learned of this from Blair in January 2004. McNamara was outraged. But, as Blair observed, this is but "one of a long litany of items pointing to the ignorance of presidents and defense secretaries and other nuclear security officials about the true state of nuclear affairs".

    Wayward nukes
    Problems with securing nuclear weapons are not a matter of Cold War history. In August this year, six US nuclear-armed cruise missiles were inadvertently loaded onto a bomber at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and flown across the country to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The cruise missiles remained fitted to the bomber for 24 hours before it took off and for hours after it landed without anyone realizing that it was carrying nuclear warheads. It was "an unprecedented string of procedural failures", according to General Richard Newton, the assistant deputy chief of staff for operations for the US Air Force.

    As nuclear analyst Hans Kristensen has pointed out, the incident showed "the apparent break-down of nuclear command and control for the custody of the nuclear weapons". Put simply, the ground crews did not know, or bother to check, that they were loading nuclear weapons on a plane; the bomber's pilot and crew did not know or bother to check that they were carrying nuclear weapons; the respective base commanders did not know nuclear weapons were leaving or arriving; and, the national authorities responsible for nuclear weapons did not know where these nuclear weapons were or that they were being moved across the country. The weapons were to all intents and purposes lost for about 36 hours.

    Gates, guards and guns
    A key concern about nuclear security in Pakistan is the risk of radical Islamist militants making a bid for its nuclear weapons or its stock of the materials with which to make nuclear weapons. There is a growing armed insurgency in the areas bordering Afghanistan that has been spreading across Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province and into its major cities.

    The United States, which has much less of a threat to worry about, has had plenty of problems trying to makes sure terrorists could not get their hands on the materials with which to make nuclear weapons. The US Department of energy currently spends $1.3 billion a year on securing its facilities that contain significant amounts of nuclear weapons-useable materials through the use of fences, guards, cameras, intrusion sensors, and so on. But many of these facilities are not required or able to protect against a 19-strong group of attackers such as were involved in the September 11, 2001, aircraft hijackings.

    The failure to secure weapons materials at US facilities has been exposed by exercises in which simulated attackers carried away material sufficient to make a weapon. Reports show that the security at the sites fails more than 50% of the time. The Project on Government Oversight, an independent watch dog group, has revealed for instance that during a mock attack on Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, a US Special Forces team "was able to steal enough weapons-grade uranium for numerous nuclear weapons". In a subsequent security test at the same site, the "mock terrorists gained control of sensitive nuclear materials which, if detonated, would have endangered significant parts of New Mexico, Colorado and downwind areas".

    Nuclear know-how
    A particular worry about Pakistan is that scientists and engineers within its nuclear program may share weapons information with other countries or Islamist groups. The story of Abdul Qadeer Khan is all too familiar, as is that of several senior former Pakistani nuclear scientists who were found to have met with the al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan.

    In the United States, there is a long and troubling history of nuclear weapons information going missing from the nuclear weapons laboratories, and ending up in unexpected places. The first and most famous atomic spy was Klaus Fuchs, who passed on the secrets of the US nuclear weapons project to the Soviet Union during World War II. Fuchs claimed he did it for ideological reasons.

    More recently, the Project on Government Oversight has compiled a list of reports on the loss of classified information from the US nuclear complex. They found 17 incidents in 2004 alone in which classified information from Los Alamos was sent using unclassified networks. This led the Department of Energy, which manages the U.S. nuclear weapons program, to shut down all operations involving removable hard drives, laptops, CDs and DVDs, flash drives and such like, across the entire complex.

    In one dramatic case, missing computer disks containing nuclear weapons information were lost and mysteriously found several weeks later behind a copy machine. In another case, classified information about nuclear weapons designs was found during a raid on a drug den. In January 2007, there was an incident in which a highly classified email message about nuclear weapons was sent unsecured by a senior Pentagon nuclear adviser and then forwarded by others. It has been described as "the most serious breach of US national security".

    Nuclear people
    History suggests that the most enduring problem for the security of nuclear weapons, materials and information, is the people who work in and manage the nuclear weapons complex. The United States has a nuclear weapons personnel reliability program which screens people who are allowed to work with nuclear weapons. Pakistan says it has adopted a similar program.

    An independent study of the US nuclear personnel reliability program found that between 1975 and 1990, the United States disqualified annually between 3% and 5% of the military personnel it had previously cleared for working with nuclear weapons. These people were removed on the grounds of drug or alcohol problems, conviction for a serious crime, negligence, unreliability or aberrant behavior, poor attitude, and behavior suggesting problems with law and authority.

    Problems like this continue. In October 2006, a Los Alamos lab worker with the "highest possible security clearance" was arrested in a cocaine drug bust. One year later, the commander of a US nuclear submarine was removed from his duties after it was discovered that the ship's crew failed to do daily safety checks on its nuclear reactor for a month and then falsified the daily records to cover up the lapse.

    False security
    After 60 years of living with the bomb, the United States has failed to get its own nuclear house in order. It continues to suffer serious problems with securing its own nuclear weapons, nuclear materials and weapons-related information. Showing no sign of having learned from its own mistakes, the United States may only end up encouraging a false sense of security and confidence about nuclear weapons security in Pakistan.

    The only sure way to secure nuclear weapons and materials is not to have them. The only way to be sure that nuclear weapons scientists do not pass information is to forbid scientists from working on such weapons. Anything short of that is taking a risk and being willing to pay the price for living in a nuclear-armed world.

    Zia Mian, a Foreign Policy In Focus columnist, directs the Project on Peace and Security in South Asia at the Program on Science and Global Security, at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs.
    Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and Pakistan
  14. ahussains

    ahussains FULL MEMBER

    Mar 25, 2007
    +0 / 5 / -0
    Nice articals Mr. Muslim so far Pakistan is done a well job to secure its Nuclear Assets these are the initial stages and they are learning from the Experience so far they just 9 years old Nuclear Boy. It needs time to mature it self as a responsiable person of the socitey .
  15. AgNoStiC MuSliM

    AgNoStiC MuSliM PDF Veteran

    Jul 11, 2007
    +65 / 27,950 / -0
    United States
    The credit for discovering this article, and a couple of others, goes to H Khan from a sister forum:

    Building Confidence in Pakistan&#8217;s Nuclear Security

    Arms Control Association: Arms Control Today: Building Confidence in Pakistan&#8217;s Nuclear Security

    Kenneth N. Luongo and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Naeem Salik

    Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf&#8217;s decision last month to declare a national emergency and suspend the constitution has ratcheted up concerns about the safety and security of that country&#8217;s nuclear arsenal. Pakistani officials have categorically rejected speculation that their grip on its nuclear assets is loose, with Musharraf stating that Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear weapons are under &#8220;total custodial controls.&#8221;[1] Concerns remain, however, including in Western governments, that political volatility could erode the security situation.

    Nonetheless, nuclear security in Pakistan has evolved substantially during the past nine years, and although improvements are still needed, both physical security and operational procedures are now stronger.

    Following Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear tests in 1998, the nuclear program emerged from the opaqueness that had surrounded it for the previous 25 years. Pakistani officials recognized that they had not been sufficiently transparent to alleviate concerns regarding proliferation threats from Pakistan and sought to convince the international community that they have taken adequate measures.

    This led to the establishment of a central command-and-control system to manage nuclear infrastructure and strategic assets. The two most prominent creations were the National Command Authority (NCA), which began operation in March 1999, and the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), which was established as the permanent secretariat of the NCA, although the formal announcement in this regard came in February 2000.

    The creation of the NCA and the SPD also were important in changing the mindset inside the Pakistani nuclear structure, especially among individuals and facilities that previously had operated autonomously or with minimal oversight or auditing. The actions of Abdul Qadeer Khan from the late 1980s through the 1990s that resulted in the transfer of sensitive technologies to Iran and Libya, among other activities, are an example of the flaws in the previous oversight system.

    Islamabad also developed a nuclear doctrine and communication systems that were integrated with intelligence and reconnaissance efforts and brought under the NCA to provide command and control during any crisis. Existing export control regulations were augmented, and safety and security procedures were reviewed and strengthened.

    Concerns About Pakistan&#8217;s Nuclear Security

    Pakistani officials are aware that they have not completely alleviated international worries regarding the security of its nuclear arsenal. Four key concerns continue to exist regarding Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear program, some more acute than others:

    &#8226; Nuclear assets or technology falling into the wrong hands. The Pakistani-Afghan border region is known to harbor al Qaeda and Taliban extremists, including possibly Osama Bin Laden. It is also suspected that some percentage of younger physicists and military personnel in Pakistan are more influenced by Islamic radicalism than previous generations. Two physicists from Pakistan with knowledge of the nuclear program, retired Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) scientists Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood and Abdul Majid, have admitted to speaking with Bin Laden, although they denied that any sensitive information was divulged. Also, the actions of Khan have been well documented. Steps have been taken to improve facility security and to screen personnel who work in the nuclear program more rigorously, but this is an ongoing challenge.

    &#8226; Islamist takeover as a result of elections or collapse of government. At the heart of the current crisis in Pakistan is the question of political elections. A serious question is whether Islamic extremist groups and Islamist political parties could gain power in Pakistan through the election process. According to the International Crisis Group, &#8220;Poll after poll has found that if fair and free elections were held under constitutional protections and monitored by national and international observers, the result would be a moderate, pro-Western, anti-extremist government in Pakistan.&#8221;[2] Extremist Islamist parties have never won more than 11 percent of the total votes in a Pakistani election.[3] Questions have also been raised about the reliability of the Pakistani military, given the ethnic diversity that exists within its ranks. The military in Pakistan has become more ethnically diverse in recent decades and contains Baluchis, Pashtuns, Punjabis, and Sindhis. This has not been a cause for concern about potential factionalism as the troops are professionally trained and have proven to be cohesive in the current political crisis.

    &#8226; Assassination attempt or elimination of key leaders leading to a loss of control of the nuclear program. Several attempts have been made on Musharraf&#8217;s life, all unsuccessful. The control system over nuclear assets, however, includes at least 10 senior officials, military and political, who are fully competent to assume responsibility for the nuclear weapons program. Ultimately, the political decision-makers control the budget and are responsible for the development and management of the nuclear program. Their actions are strongly guided by recommendations from the deep professional core of specialists that assist the political representatives with the management of the system.

    &#8226; Secondary proliferation. The discovery of the Khan covert nuclear technology proliferation network revealed serious security weaknesses, but most of his activities predated the establishment of formal command-and-control mechanisms. In the wake of that scandal, Pakistani officials declared that they would never again let anyone transfer nuclear technology to any country or entity, and actions have been taken to control individuals and facilities in the nuclear complex better.

    Nuclear Weapons Assets Authority

    Many of these concerns have been eased by the establishment of the NCA and the SPD.

    The National Command Authority (NCA)

    The NCA was established to create an institutionalized command-and-control mechanism over Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear weapons programs. Responsibilities of the NCA include employment and deployment aspects of the nuclear force, coordination of activities of Pakistan&#8217;s strategic organizations, arms control and disarmament issues, and oversight of the implementation of export controls and safety and security of nuclear installations and materials.

    The NCA has a three-tiered structure with two committees, the Employment Control Committee and the Developmental Control Committee, constituting one tier; the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) another tier; and the three services&#8217; strategic forces commands the final tier.

    The Employment Control Committee is the NCA&#8217;s main policymaking organ. It functions as a political-military committee. It has the president as its chairman, the prime minister as the vice chairman, and the foreign minister as its deputy chairman.

    The Development Control Committee is a military-technical committee that translates the policy decisions taken by the Employment Control Committee into force goals and oversees their achievement by the strategic organizations.

    The Strategic Plans Division (SPD)

    The SPD is tasked with daily management of Pakistan&#8217;s strategic assets, liaising with all strategic organizations, and oversight of the budgetary and administrative aspects of these organizations. The SPD also oversees a security division of 9,000-10,000 personnel who are responsible for securing all strategic infrastructure.

    The SPD itself has four main directorates. The Operations and Planning Directorate, as the name suggests, carries out the operational planning. The CCCCIISR (Computerized Command, Control, Communications, Information, Intelligence and Surveillance Directorate) is responsible for developing and maintaining strategic command and communication links. The Strategic Weapons Development Directorate carries out liaison with the strategic organizations, scrutinizes their budgetary demands, and carries out audits of funds. The Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs directorate provides policy recommendations on all arms control and disarmament issues and participates in relevant bilateral and multilateral nonproliferation discussions.

    There are some subsidiary organizations, such as the Consultancy Directorate, comprised of technical experts who provide technical advice on all construction projects, and the Strategic Forces Communications Planning (SFCD) cell, comprising communications experts to assist the CCCCIISR directorate. The Security Division is by far the largest component in terms of number of personnel, and its primary responsibility is to provide internal and external security to all sensitive installations and sites.

    The Services&#8217; Strategic Forces Commands

    The third tier of command comprises the three services&#8217; strategic forces commands. The primary responsibility of these commands is to exercise technical, training, and administrative control over the strategic delivery systems. The operational control, however, rests with the NCA. The army strategic force command possesses ballistic and cruise missiles, while the air force strategic command has the aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The naval strategic force command was the last to be established, and there is no public information as to whether they already have nuclear delivery systems and weapons or whether this capability is still evolving.

    Security of Nuclear Weapons Assets and Facilities

    The number of Pakistani nuclear weapons and the size of its fissile material stockpiles are not known in detail. It has been estimated that Pakistan has enough fissile material for about 60 weapons and has produced about 1.3 metric tons of highly enriched uranium and slightly more than one-half ton of plutonium.[4] A number of steps have been taken to protect both the weapons and components in storage as well as nuclear facilities and stockpiles.

    Nuclear Weapons Security

    Pakistan can deliver its nuclear weapons either by aircraft or by surface-to-surface missiles. The weapons are believed to be kept separate from their delivery systems, with the nuclear cores removed from their detonators.[5] Some estimates claim that the weapons themselves may be scattered, at up to six separate locations.[6] It may be difficult to ascertain the number of actual weapon-storage sites, but nuclear weapons certainly would be dispersed at multiple sites.

    Despite their disassembled status, General Khalid Kidwai, head of the SPD, has stated that the weapons could be assembled very quickly.[7] Although not originally equipped with permissive action links (PALs), which require the entry of a code before the weapon can explode, each Pakistani warhead is now fitted with this code-lock device, according to Samar Mubarakmand, one of Pakistan&#8217;s top nuclear officials and scientists in an interview with a private TV network in 2004.[8] The employment of PALs was publicly confirmed in November 2006 by General Kidwai.[9] In addition, Pakistan follows a two-man rule to authenticate the codes that call for the release of the weapons. It may in fact be a three-man procedure in some cases. Such authentication processes are standard in advanced nuclear-weapon states.

    Fissile Material Protection, Control, and Accounting

    Since 1998, the SPD has been responsible for conducting external audits on all nuclear inventories and implementing regular and surprise inspections at facilities. Any nuclear or radioactive materials that enters into the safeguarded system comes under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors and tracks the movement of materials through the system until they are disposed.

    Four of Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear facilities, the Karachi and Chashma-1 power reactors and the Pakistan Atomic Research Reactors I and II in Rawalpindi, currently operate under IAEA safeguards. Several key nuclear weapons-related facilities are not subject to IAEA inspections. One is the Khan Research Laboratory, where weapons-grade uranium is produced. Other uranium-related facilities not under safeguards are the enrichment facilities believed to be at Golra, Sihala, and Gadwal. The Pakistani government has never officially acknowledged the existence of these facilities, and it does not provide them on the list of facilities exchanged with India on January 1 every year. Plutonium-related facilities not subject to safeguards include the Khushab research reactor, which is estimated to have a capacity of about 50 megawatts, sufficient to produce the plutonium necessary for a few nuclear weapons per year, and New Laboratories, a plutonium-reprocessing plant.[10]

    Sensitive Facility Perimeter Security

    Perimeter security is an integral element of all nuclear installations, civilian or military. Central responsibility for the security and physical protection of nuclear facilities resides with the SPD. There is presently a multilayered approach to perimeter security:

    &#8226; Inner perimeter. This has traditionally been the responsibility of the respective organizations, but the security in these facilities is now overseen by the elements of the coordinated security division of the SPD. This division is headed by a two-star general. These forces operate on a permanent basis and receive special training. Certain facilities are also protected by air defense elements and are designated as no-fly zones.

    &#8226; Outer perimeter. Fencing has recently been strengthened at facilities, and new technologies and electronic sensors, including closed-circuit television cameras, have been installed.

    &#8226; Third Tier. Counter-intelligence teams work on identifying external threats to facilities.

    Transportation Security

    Materials, such as spent nuclear fuel and high-activity radioactive sources are more difficult to defend from adversaries while in transit than when in fixed locations. The key concern in Pakistan is that armor-piercing weapons could penetrate transportation containers and release radioactive materials. Officials are therefore seeking to acquire additional specialized vehicles to prevent sabotage attempts. Pakistan ratified the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) in October 2000 and is working to ensure it meets all the guidelines included in the convention, which covers domestic and international transportation of nuclear materials. Officials are also considering accession to the July 2005 amendments that are intended to strengthen the CPPNM.

    Personnel Reliability Program (PRP)

    The security clearance and screening processes of individuals for employment in the strategic organizations was a disjointed and fragmented process in the past that has now been consolidated through the institution of a personnel reliability program (PRP). This program covers all persons working in the sensitive areas of the nuclear system. The SPD has overall approval of key personnel and also retains information on all retired personnel. Since 2001, the personnel system has been strengthened and integrated into the nuclear establishment. Also, as the nuclear departments have grown, there is less of a sense of &#8220;family bonding&#8221; and more accountability. Any individual assigned to a strategic project or a sensitive task now undergoes a security clearance by Interservices Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau, Military Intelligence, and the SPD. This is similar to the U.S. system, and lessons have been learned and adapted from the U.S. PRP. After an initial screening, there are periodic clearance rechecks every two years or when a person is transferred from one area of the program to another. Additionally, random checks can be carried out when required. This process includes complete background checks on family, educational career, political affiliations, and inclinations.

    Challenges remain, however, in controlling nuclear expertise. Pakistan has re-employed scientists with potentially sensitive expertise in other areas of the nuclear program to continue to use their knowledge. Once the system becomes more saturated and more scientists leave the program, dealing with these alumni will become more of a problem. Pakistan has spoken with the United States on this issue and is exploring ideas for scientists who leave the program, including retraining them in other areas of expertise. In the United States, scientists have a permanent obligation regarding the protection of sensitive information regardless of whether they have left government employment. This issue needs to be addressed in greater detail in order to devise an effective and sustainable system for Pakistan.

    Nuclear Energy and Radiation Security and Authority

    The civilian elements of Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear program are overseen largely by the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) and the PAEC.

    The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA)

    The PNRA was established in January 2001. It is the national statutory nuclear authority responsible for regulating all aspects of radiation and nuclear energy. The PNRA issues licenses for imports and exports of radiological substances and controls, regulates, and supervises all matters relating to nuclear safety and radiation protection. Previously, the PAEC was responsible for overseeing nuclear safety and security. Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the PNRA tightened its security and physical protection regime. The PNRA Ordinance of 2001 empowers the PNRA to &#8220;ensure that appropriate measures for physical protection of nuclear installations and nuclear materials are taken by the licensee.&#8221; The federal government retains the authority to create legislation and regulations for imports and exports, and the PNRA is responsible for issuing licenses and conducting inspections of the licensees. Applications are received at the PNRA and reviewed at the Regional Nuclear Safety Directorates. The capacity and expertise of companies are evaluated, and licenses and no-objection certificates are only issued to qualifying companies. The Ministry of Commerce is responsible for issuing the import and export procedures through the chief controller of imports and exports. Customs authorities are then responsible for controlling the entry and exit of nuclear and radioactive materials.

    In 2002 the PNRA streamlined nuclear disaster management by announcing a host of new measures for protecting &#8220;the plant and society from hazards that could be man-made or natural.&#8221; These measures included stricter quality control and monitoring for infrastructure and equipment, multiple physical barriers to uncontrolled release of radioactive materials, radiation protection and acceptance criteria, and disaster mitigation equipment and arrangements. The PNRA also addressed resource issues in nuclear facilities, including the division of responsibilities and quality of technical staff.

    The PNRA has developed a five-year Nuclear Security Action Plan (NSAP) intended to enhance safety and security for all nuclear and radiation facilities and sources. The plan should ultimately boost the confidence of the nuclear energy sector and industry and the international community regarding compliance with international obligations. The key focus areas of the NSAP are:

    &#8226; Manage all sources under regulatory control, evaluate vulnerable facilities, and support their efforts. Inspections are held during use, storage, and transportation of any sources. The PNRA now conducts biannual assessments, and a follow-on process ensures that the findings are adequately implemented. The PNRA is also reassessing existing physical protection measures around facilities and providing guidance and training to strengthen these systems.

    &#8226; Establish a PNRA Nuclear Safety and Security Training Center. The center will focus on training programs related to nuclear security and physical protection of radioactive materials, emergency preparedness, detection equipment, recovery operations, and border monitoring. It will train PNRA staff and first responders, including officials from customs, border, local governments, and other law enforcement agencies. Thus far, the PNRA has been involved in training up to 200 staff.

    &#8226; Establish a National Nuclear Security Emergency Coordination Center (NuSECC). NuSECC has been established in Islamabad to coordinate government agencies, including customs, border, local governments, and PNRA regional directorates, which are based in Karachi, Chashma, and Islamabad. Three additional directorates are being created, and inspectorates are yet to be established. There is currently one mobile lab, and officials wish to acquire an additional five to be stationed at the directorates and inspectorates. NuSECC will also work on a communications system and evaluate the possibility of continual tracking of high-activity sources during movement.

    &#8226; Locate and secure orphan radioactive sources. Orphan sources are defined as &#8220;sources not under regulatory control, either because they have never been under regulatory control or because they have been abandoned, lost, misplaced, stolen or transferred without proper authorization.&#8221;[11] The PNRA has launched a campaign to locate all sources through physical and nonphysical searches and public outreach. Officials must locate, secure, and dispose of such sources to reduce the risk that they will be used to perpetrate malicious acts.

    &#8226; Provision of detection equipment at strategic points. Detection equipment is intended to help prevent illicit trafficking of radioactive materials and sources and to assist rapid response in the instance of a nuclear or radiological emergency. Equipment will be provided to local governments, emergency response personnel, customs, and rangers at selected border points. Training will also be provided on how to operate the equipment and verify information obtained.

    The PNRA evaluates its credibility against a set of performance indicators. These include peer reviews conducted by the IAEA International Regulatory Review Team and the IAEA Radiation Safety Infrastructure Appraisal mission. The PNRA also draws on local universities and other external associates to assist with self-assessments and promote transparency. Results from appraisals are posted on the PNRA website. Reports submitted by Pakistan in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1540, which calls for national measures to prevent nonstate actors from obtaining highly dangerous weapons, and Pakistan&#8217;s accession to international agreements, including the CPPNM, also demonstrate Pakistan&#8217;s commitment toward addressing the challenges posed by nuclear security.

    Export Controls

    In 2000 the SPD issued internal export control guidelines for all nuclear organizations. Before the issuance of these guidelines, organizations acted independently; and their transactions invariably caused suspicions and concerns, especially given the strategic nature of these entities. Institutions now have to follow established procedures for all exports, including seeking clearance from the SPD and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Still, until 2004, Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear export control framework was largely governed by statutory regulatory orders, ordinances, and acts that supported regulations issued by the Ministry of Commerce. In the wake of the Khan scandal, many of these procedures and regulations were consolidated in 2004 in the Export Control Act, enacted to control the exports of goods, technologies, materials, and equipment related to nuclear and biological weapons and delivery systems.

    The 2004 act also established controls over re-exports, transshipments, and transfers of goods and technologies that could contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of their delivery or contribute to the threat of international terrorism.

    The transfer of nuclear-related equipment and technology is not permitted except for disused radioactive sources, empty containers of these sources, equipment for repair or maintenance from these facilities, and samples for analysis or study from national nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

    The jurisdiction of the act extends to the entire territory of Pakistan and to any offenses committed by a citizen of Pakistan or person in the service of Pakistan, a Pakistani national visiting or working abroad, a foreign national while on the territory of Pakistan, or any ground transport, ship, or aircraft registered in Pakistan. The control list for the act encompasses the lists and scope of export controls maintained by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, and the Australia Group (for biological agents). The act also has a catchall clause. (A Chemical Weapons Convention ordinance had already been issued in 2000, which covered import/export requirements for the chemical industry.) The control list will be subject to periodic review, revision, and updating as and when required.

    Exporters are required to maintain detailed inventories and records and to notify the relevant authority if they are aware or suspect that goods or technology are intended to be used in connection with weapons. Offenders face tough penalties, which include imprisonment of up to 14 years, a fine of up to five million rupees, and the seizure of all assets and property.

    To ensure the successful implementation and enforcement of the act, a Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV) has been created. This division is housed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but it is multidisciplinary and includes personnel from customs; the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Commerce, and Defense; the Central Board of Revenue; the PAEC; the PNRA; and the SPD. The division will operate independently so that personnel will not face any conflicts of interest.

    The SECDIV will formulate the necessary rules and regulations for its internal functioning and for the implementation of the act. It will develop structures for issuing licenses for all items as per the National Control List and develop an outreach program for industry and the media. There will also be an oversight board, headed by the foreign secretary and consisting of high-level officials who will meet periodically (possibly twice a year) to oversee implementation of the act. The procedures for the oversight board have not yet been established.

    Radiological Source Security

    The PNRA is tasked with protecting radiation workers, the public, and the environment against accidental or malicious acts involving nuclear materials and facilities that may result in exposure to the harmful effects of radiation. The security of radioactive sources is ensured through periodic physical verification and regulatory inspections. In recent years, the PNRA has conducted numerous, nationwide inspections of nuclear and radiation facilities, identifying weaknesses and recommending countermeasures. The PNRA has also launched an orphan-sources initiative through a public awareness and education campaign.

    The PNRA continuously reviews and updates safety and security measures according to recommendations and guidance received from the IAEA. They are also committed to protecting investment in the nuclear industry by specifying stringent design and operational safety targets to help eliminate the probability of major economic loss due to an accident, incident, or malicious act.

    The total number of radiological sources in Pakistan is not clear, but 65 percent of the sources are claimed to be stored and 34 percent of sources are in use. Of the amount in use, 49 percent is under the PAEC, of which 26 percent is for medical use and 74 percent for nonmedical use, and 51 percent is non-PAEC, of which 12 percent is for medical use and 88 percent is for nonmedical use. The amount of category one, two, and three radioactive materials is claimed to be limited, and once its useful life is over, it must be returned to the government. For example, in hospitals, once a source has ended its effective life, the licensee must release the source to the PNRA, which in turn hands it over to the PAEC, the only government agency equipped to dispose of such materials. The PNRA would be required at some stage to develop its own waste disposal site because the disposal of such sources is its primary responsibility.

    Pakistan has been working to ensure accurate tracking of all radioactive sources imported into the country. It is very difficult to secure all of Pakistan&#8217;s borders against illicit trafficking, especially because there are more than 2,000 miles of open borders with few legal crossing points. Yet, Pakistan has taken action to control the threat of radiological terrorism better. For example, the 2004 Export Control Act includes restrictions and penalties for transshipments. Pakistan has signed the Container Security Initiative, which provided for detectors in Karachi. Officials are engaged in discussions regarding possibly joining the Megaports Initiative. Pakistan also participates in the IAEA Illicit Trafficking Database, which allows countries to share information on incidents involving theft, loss, or pilferage of radiological materials.

    Officials claim that Pakistan is working at &#8220;optimum speed&#8221; to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Energy on export and border control programs. Useful assistance for Pakistan to help meet this challenge would include providing metal detectors for border crossing points and mobile labs to identify any suspicious substances that are intercepted. Pakistani officials note that anyone bringing sources into Pakistan would find it difficult to sell such materials because there are only a small number of end users and they are known to officials, thus making it easier to identify any new sources that appear on the market.

    Cooperation With the International Community

    The United States and Pakistan initiated a bilateral dialogue on improving nuclear security in the wake of a visit by Secretary of State Colin Powell in October 2001. The results of the discussions have been very closely held, though not strictly secret, as references to the cooperation have been made in Western and Pakistani news media, in other expert publications, and in briefings to Pakistani parliamentarians.[12] The discussions have been conducted at the expert level and on a nonsensitive and nonintrusive basis, with Pakistan insisting on clear redlines. The scope reportedly includes export and commodity controls, PRPs, nuclear material protection, control and accounting, transportation security, sharing of best practices, training of security personnel, and the provision of equipment. According to the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the cooperation has been &#8220;in the nature of rudimentary training and ideas,&#8221; and the equipment provided for tracing nuclear materials is of a &#8220;basic nature.&#8221;[13]

    This cooperation does not extend to the &#8220;safety&#8221; of nuclear weapons because of U.S. legal limitations as well as Pakistan&#8217;s insistence on nonintrusiveness and maintaining secrecy related to its nuclear weapons and their locations. Another very sensitive issue is the suggestion that the United States is engaging in contingency planning to &#8220;secure&#8221; or relocate Pakistani nuclear assets in case of a breakdown of order.[14] This is not part of the U.S.-Pakistani nuclear security dialogue. Pakistan would be very wary of continuing cooperation with the United States on nuclear security improvements should this issue become an official priority. It could raise the question of whether the United States has given up on the objective it had after the 1998 nuclear test of rolling back Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear capability. It also would raise questions about the sincerity of statements by knowledgeable current and former officials about the improved security and safety of Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear arsenal.

    The IAEA is an important avenue for short- and long-term nuclear-security support for the safeguarded nuclear facilities in Pakistan. Pakistan is a member of the IAEA, and the IAEA has already made substantive contributions to their nuclear security efforts. Yet, although the IAEA plays an important role in verifying the implementation of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the IAEA is more than just an extension of the NPT. The IAEA was created by a statute more than a decade before the existence of the NPT. That statute states that any country can request the agency to apply safeguards to their nuclear activities, and the IAEA has already done so for four existing Pakistani nuclear reactors as well as to the Chashma-2 power plant, which is under construction.

    Additionally, the PNRA, with assistance from the IAEA, has arranged a number of workshops in Pakistan to train personnel and first responders since 2005. Training is provided for many personnel, including customs officials, and is also now aimed at senior administration officials. The PNRA is currently planning additional workshops for 2008. The IAEA statute therefore provides a potentially useful tool for further cooperation in Pakistan.


    The political crisis in Pakistan during the fall of 2007 has riveted attention on the security of the nuclear arsenal and infrastructure in that country. The main concerns are nuclear leakage and seizure of nuclear assets by radical groups or individuals.

    Yet, Pakistan has significantly evolved its technical and procedural nuclear security operations since its 1998 nuclear tests. It also has willingly engaged with international partners in an attempt to further strengthen its security and control processes. The major changes over the past nine years include the creation of the NCA, the establishment of the SPD, the development of a nuclear doctrine, the improvement of export controls, the integration of the command and control system, and the employment of permissive action links on nuclear weapons.

    Although the concerns about Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear security during the current political crisis raised questions about the adequacy of the system, there have not been any examples to date of systemic failure. In fact, the weapons and facilities have been secure throughout the crisis, providing a measure of assurance that the last decade&#8217;s improvements are working.
    These actions should build confidence in the international community that the Pakistani government is very serious about nuclear security and reducing the possibilities for proliferation. The evolution of this security system will need to continue well into the future, but a substantial foundation now exists on which these future improvements can be built.

    Kenneth N. Luongo is executive director of the Partnership for Global Security and a former senior adviser on nonproliferation policy to the secretary of energy. Brigadier General (Ret.) Naeem Salik is currently the South Asia Studies Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He previously served as director of Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs at the Strategic Plans Division of Pakistan&#8217;s National Command Authority. This article is based in part on the first of a series of workshops on the evolution, status, and future of nuclear security in Pakistan that the authors organized in the spring of 2007. The authors wish to acknowledge the contribution of Isabelle Williams in drafting the results of the workshop.


    1. &#8220;Pakistan Nukes Under Control: Musharraf,&#8221; Agence France-Presse, November 13, 2007.

    2. Thomas R. Pickering, Carla Hills, and Morton Abramowitz, &#8220;The Answer in Pakistan,&#8221; The Washington Post, November 14, 2007.

    3. Trudy Rubin, &#8220;Worldview: Musharraf&#8217;s Dangerous Aim,&#8221; The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 7, 2007.

    4. International Panel on Fissile Materials, &#8220;Global Fissile Material Report 2007,&#8221; October 10, 2007, pp. 8, 10, 14.

    5. David Sanger, &#8220;So, What About Those Nukes?&#8221; The New York Times, November 11, 2007.

    6. David Albright, &#8220;Securing Pakistan&#8217;s Nuclear Complex,&#8221; October 2001 (report commissioned and sponsored by the Stanley Foundation for the 42nd Strategy for Peace, Warrenton, VA).

    7. Landau Network, &#8220;Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Stability, and Nuclear Strategy in Pakistan,&#8221; found at http://lxmi.mi.infn.it/~landnet/Doc/pakistan.pdf (mission carried out December 3-7, 2001).

    8. Samar Mubarakmand recently retired as chairman of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), which was created in 2001 as an umbrella organization to coordinate and oversee the activities of several independent entities, such as the National Development Complex, the main missile production facility. The interview was aired by Geo TV in April 2004 in the wake of Khan affair. He was a member technical in the PAEC before taking over as NESCOM chairman and was leader of the team that conducted Pakistan&#8217;s nuclear tests in May 1998.

    9. Lt. General Khalid Kidwai, &#8220;Pakistan&#8217;s Evolution as a Nuclear Weapons State,&#8221; Address to the Center for Contemporary Conflict, November 1, 2006.

    10. Joseph Cirincione with Jon B. Wolfsthal and Miriam Rajkumar, Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2002).

    11. Jamshed Azim Hashmi and Muhammad Khaliq, &#8220;Pakistan&#8217;s Nuclear Safety and Security Action Plan&#8221; Presentation to the Workshop on Building Confidence in Pakistan&#8217;s Nuclear Security, April 30, 2007, found at Partnership For Global Security :: Home.

    12. Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, &#8220;New York Times Story on Nuclear Cooperation,&#8221; No. 281/2007, Islamabad, November 19, 2007, found at http://www.mofa.gov.pk/Press_Release...PR_281_07.htm; Kenneth N. Luongo and Isabelle Williams, &#8220;Seizing the Moment: Using the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal to Improve Fissile Material,&#8221; Arms Control Today, May 2006; Paul Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin, &#8220;Pakistan&#8217;s Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues,&#8221; CRS Report for Congress, RL34248, November 14, 2007; &#8220;Interview With Ambassador Robert Oakley,&#8221; Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, MSNBC, February 9, 2004; &#8220;U.S. Secretly Aids Pakistan in Guarding Nuclear Arms,&#8221; The New York Times, November 18, 2007.

    13. Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, &#8220;New York Times Story on Nuclear Cooperation.&#8221;
    14. Frederick W. Kagan and Michael O&#8217;Hanlon, &#8220;Pakistan&#8217;s Collapse, Our Problem,&#8221; The New York Times, November 18, 2007.
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