View Full Version : Joe Lieberman "Reassured" On Pakistan Nukes

01-09-2008, 01:32 PM
US Senator 'reassured' on Pakistan nukes


Published: Wednesday January 9, 2008

A US senator who met President Pervez Musharraf Wednesday said he felt reassured about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, and called for upcoming elections to be "fair and credible."

Senator Joe Lieberman said he had received a "detailed and explicit" briefing by Pakistan's military leadership on the security of the US ally's atomic arsenal.

"I was impressed by the specific explanation I had about the system that is in place here," Lieberman told reporters after the meeting, on a visit planned before the December 27 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

"There are some who have expressed concerns about the security of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal," he said, referring to doubts expressed by the head of the UN nuclear watchdog and others in recent days.

"Overall I felt reassured... and I will take that message back to Congress," he added.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was Tuesday quoted saying he was "worried that nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of an extremist group in Pakistan or in Afghanistan".

However, Pakistan's foreign ministry rejected the UN nuclear chief's criticism and chastised his "irresponsible" remarks.

Lieberman also said that in discussions with Musharraf and Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro he had urged that key general elections, postponed for six weeks until February 18 in the wake of Bhutto's killing, go ahead.

"The president (Musharraf) could not have been stronger or more explicit that that should happen and that the government do everything they can to make sure that the elections are fair and credible," Lieberman said.

"There has probably never been a perfect election, including in the United States of America, but the important thing is that when this election is over no-one should be able to say that the government didn't do everything it could to assure fairness and transparency," he added.

Lieberman, now an Independent, is chairman of the US Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. He was a Democratic vice-presidential candidate in the 2000 elections.

Pakistan is a strategic US ally in the "war on terror" but Bhutto's murder in a gun and suicide bomb attack, as well as mounting Islamist militancy along the Afghan border, has raised concerns for its stability.

Washington had hoped that Bhutto, a two-time former prime minister and passionate defender of secular democracy, could form a power-sharing deal with Musharraf to restore full civilian rule after his 1999 military coup.

01-09-2008, 08:57 PM
Lieberman, ha ha ha!

01-10-2008, 01:39 AM
Yeah, Pakistan's highest leader is going to make sure a Jewish guy is up to date on all the info.