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US has a 'plan' for Pak nukes

Source: PTI
January 19, 2005 16:44 IST
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Asserting that the US is "very aware" of the danger of Pakistan's nuclear weapons falling into the hands of radical Islamists, Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice has revealed that Washington has a contingency plan to prevent this from happening.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at her confirmation hearing yesterday, she described President Pervez Musharraf as the man who saved Pakistan from Islamic fundamentalists and moved towards easing relations with India.

Musharraf saved Pakistan: Rice

Asked whether the US has devised any "fail safe" method to ensure that if something were to happen to Musharraf the Pakistani nuclear weapons would not fall into the hands of a radical Islamic state, Rice said "we are prepared to try to deal with it. I would prefer not to talks about this particular issue in open session".

Pressed on the issue by former Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, she said "we are very aware of the problem. In fact, we have had some discussions on it. I prefer not to (discuss it in open session)."

In her opening statement, she spoke about US expanding ties with India. "The United states is cooperating with India, the world's largest democracy, across a range of economic and security issues. This, even as we embrace Pakistan as a vital ally in the war on terror, and a state in transition towards a more moderate and democratic future."

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