Nuclear-armed Pakistan is unraveling at a frightening pace and if it doesn’t worry you, it should. Imagine al Qaeda having it’s finger on the button of up to one hundred nuclear missiles and you quickly get an idea of the mortal danger (as Hilary Clinton called it earler this week) the world is facing should Pakistan fall. Amazingly, most Americans seem unaware or simply unconcerned.
UPDATE: The Taleban say they will withdraw from a Pakistani district where their consolidation of power this week has caused deep concern in the US. A Taleban spokesman said commander Maulana Fazlullah had issued the order for fighters to pull back from the north-western district of Buner.
The US has accused officials in Pakistan of abdicating to the Taleban.
Equally alarming, Pakistan’s leaders appear far less concerned than their American counterparts.
You have to wonder what they’re thinking in Islamabad, the capital. Rather than fighting back against Taliban militants, the government of Asif Ali Zardari (who became president after his wife, Benazir Bhutto, was murdered by extremists) has been acquiescing, in a deluded belief it can appease its way to peace.
3 a.m Wake Up Call
The failure of Pakistani political leadership to stem the Taliban’s tide now brings Washington’s 3 a.m. wake-up call – nuclear weapons in the hands of extremists – closer than ever to becoming reality. The United States has given its allies in Islamabad political and financial assistance in every way possible for far too long with too few meaningful constraints, only to watch Pakistan destroy itself.
Does Pakistan’s Taliban Surge Raise a Nuclear Threat?
The prospect of turmoil in Pakistan sends shivers up the spines of those U.S. officials charged with keeping tabs on foreign nuclear weapons. Pakistan is thought to possess about 100 — the U.S. isn’t sure of the total, and may not know where all of them are. Still, if Pakistan collapses, the U.S. military is primed to enter the country and secure as many of those weapons as it can, according to U.S. officials.
The Taliban’s Nuclear Threat
As insurgents close in on Islamabad, The Daily Beast’s Gerald Posner reports that Taliban forces are on the verge of seizing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal—which has the capability to hit India, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
This morning, Taliban units took control of the Buner region of Pakistan, bringing their burgeoning insurgency within 60 miles of the capital city of Islamabad. The government called the advance a breach of a recently signed peace agreement. But what did they expect?
Pakistan Paramilitary Force Routed as Taliban Militants Extend Control Towards Islamabad
The fall of Buner does not pose an immediate threat to Islamabad. The capital lies across a mountain range and the river Indus. But the speed and aggression of the latest advance has stoked a sense of panic among Pakistan’s western allies, and, increasingly, at home.
On Wednesday the US secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, accused President Asif Ali Zardari’s government of “basically abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists”. After an outcry from Pakistani officials, she modified her tone yesterday, conceding there was an “increasing awareness” of the threat within government circles.
Israel: Pakistan Nukes Could Fall To Taliban
A day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that the Pakistani government was ceding ground to the Taliban, a top Israeli defense official expressed concern on Thursday that the country’s nuclear arsenal would fall into extremist hands and be used to threaten Israel.
Pakistan is believed to have several dozen nuclear warheads.
On Wednesday, in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Clinton said the Pakistani government was losing control of the country.