US eyes deal to limit Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal: NYT

WEB DESK: United States (US) has shown concern over Pakistan’s “growing” nuclear arsenal and is striving to limit it, according to a report published in The New York Times. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to visit the US while the officials of different US departments are holding meetings to finalise a proposal.

The New York Times claimed that Pakistan’s nuclear programme is the fastest growing in the world and thus is important for the US to address. President of the US has been wanting to explore a deal ever since he settled in the White House. According to details, the US is concerned that Pakistan could be on verge of deploying a small weapon that would be far harder to secure than its larger weapons.

US analysts have said that Pakistan is far away from putting any limitations on its programme due to tensions with neighbouring India. They have said that Pakistan treats its nuclear programme as its pride and would not compromise. Peter R Lavoy, official of the National Security Council, is holding different discussions as his profile involves intelligence expertise on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

The NY Times alleges that one of the founders of Pakistan’s programme, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was caught selling the technology to other countries. The report states that US has taken the step for the first time in a decade since Dr Khan was alleged of the violation. The US-led training and assistance of the Pakistani staff in keeping the arsenal safe and secure continues in Obama administration. The US, NY Times states, will use the meetings with Strategic Plans Division and co-operation a base to convince Pakistan over ‘high risk’ of using short range weapons against Indian troops.

US is likely to justify the need to address the issue with the ongoing insurgency in Pakistan. NY Times states that US government is sure of larger weapons’ security as warheads are kept separated from the delivery machines. However, smaller weapons could get in hands of any militant organisation. Lavoy has said that Pakistan should be convinced to not deploy long-range warheads that could target countries in line after India.

It should also be mentioned here that Pakistan never signed Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty due to constant tensions with rival India. The treaty bars nations from building or possessing nuclear warheads. However, already declared nuclear states like the US are exceptions. Separately, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will expose India’s sponsorship of terror in Pakistan’s Karachi and Balochistan on his visit.