Dangerous barter

Sir, — Closely following the fear expressed by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin that Pakistan nuclear weapons might fall into the hands of terrorists, "New York Times", in an editorial on Dec. 3, said that American intelligence agencies had recently confirmed that Islamabad helped North Korea in its secret nuclear weapons programme.

According to these agencies, Pakistan shared with Pyongyang the design plans of the uranium enrichment technology which it had stolen from the West and used in its own secret nuclear programme. In exchange, Pakistan is reported to have got North Korean missile components.

Pakistan has shown no hesitation in bartering its nuclear know-how for North Korean missiles required to make Indian cities a target of its nuclear weapons. It is well within the realm of possibility that Pakistan might pass on nuclear devices to terrorists to enable them to comprehensively destabilise India. It is indeed an unsettling thought. India has to redouble its diplomatic effort to convince the United States that Gen. Pervez Musharraf is not a dependable partner in its war against terror.

K. Vijaykumar


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