Musharraf takes charge of nuke arsenal

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Islamabad, Dec 14: President Pervez Musharraf has taken charge of Pakistan"s nuclear arsenal by issuing an ordinance that makes him head of the National Command authority. The National Command Authority will "ensure security and safety of nuclear establishments, nuclear materials" and safeguard all "information and technology related to the security and safety of the strategic organisation". The ordinance, which comes into force with immediate effect, says that the President will be Chairman and the Prime Minister vice-chairman if the National Command Authority.

According to the ordinance, the authority will include ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, chiefs of army, navy and air force, and Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division.The Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division will be the authority"s secretary.The ordinance authorises the authority to "ensure safety of serving or retired employees" and to "supervise, manage and coordinate the administration, management, control and audit of budget, programmes and projects … of the strategic organisations".

Under the ordinance, anyone who "commits, attempts, abets or continues the breach of national security shall … be liable to … imprisonment … for a term which may extend up to 25 years", the Dawn reported.

ANI>

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