Washington, May 3 : A top US Democrat lawmaker has described Pakistan as the "most threatening nuclear situation" in the world as it holds nuclear weapons in the wake of the "dramatic rise" of Islamic fundamentalism in the country.
Raising doubts about Pakistan holding the nuclear warheads, Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein said that the country has an "unstable government" and often it was described as "ground zero" as far as terror is concerned.
"Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons. It has an unstable government and a dramatic rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Many people have called it ground zero as far as terror is concerned," said Feinstein at a Senate sub-committee hearing on energy last evening.
He added: "If you ask some of us what is the most threatening nuclear situation, we'd have to say it's Pakistan in terms of those nuclear facilities. The question I have is what steps can we take to confront this challenge to see that the weapons remain secure and to actually improve the situation in terms of the stability of the government and, therefore, the stability of the nuclear weapons programme."
William Tobey, the Deputy Administrator in the Office of Defence Nuclear Non-Proliferation of the National Nuclear Security Administration, in his reply said: "We've extended an invitation to Pakistan to join the global initiative to combat nuclear terrorism, which they have done. They have participated in an exercise in China. That initiative is aimed at drawing together nations to share best practices, essentially throughout the possible prevention and response cycle."
"We are hopeful that Pakistan will avail itself of this opportunity to ensure that they have the best practices possible. I regard their military as the most professional and committed to nuclear security," Tobey added.