P. S. Suryanarayana

SINGAPORE: Pakistan’s nuclear weapons “are secure and safe” and they also remain beyond the reach of terrorists, according to Mahmud Ali Durrani, former National Security Adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister.

Holding out this “100 per cent” assurance during a question-answer session here, General Durrani said the Pakistan Government “is not associated with [the] activity of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)”. In fact, “there is no segment of the Pakistani establishment which wants to perpetuate jihad”. And his punch-line was that “we are literally fighting for our soul in Pakistan”.

He was “not sure” whether a “lot” in the specifics of the latest terrorist attack in Mumbai could be “attributed to LeT”. However, he confirmed that “some of the people who are in that [Mumbai attack] definitely belonged to LeT”. In fact, he “got into trouble with the Pakistan Government” for acknowledging that ‘Kasab”, associated with that attack “is a Pakistani”.

Gen. Durrani was answering questions after addressing the Singapore-based Institute of South Asian Studies on “Pakistan’s war on terror”. On the suspicions about Islamabad’s benign view of militant jihad as commonly understood in international circles, he said: “When we supported the [anti-Soviet] America war in Afghanistan, or [when] we supported the war in Kashmir, yes — but, not in the broader sense and not today. Not even these things today; it has changed.” He was referring in particular to a global jihad of militancy.

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