US would not want Pak nuke command in 'mentally ill' Zardari's hands

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New York, Sept 1 : A senior member of the Republican Party in the United States House of Representatives has said that Washington is concerned about reports of Asif Ali Zardari being 'mentally ill' in the past, and would be worried about Pakistan's nuclear command being in his hands.

The Dawn quoted ranking Republican Pete Hoekstra as saying that "Typically the US wouldn't want that kind of person" involved in a country like Pakistan with a nuclear chain of command."

Hoekstra, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that word of Zardari's mental-health history took them by surprise.

Hoekstra said that he did not recall being briefed about Zardari's claims of mental incapacity.

Two other US foreign policy officials said that they found the revelations surprising and disturbing.

But a US official familiar with intelligence said: "No one here should think information was deliberately withheld or suppressed."

While multiple US officials are of the view that Zardari's elevation would give him at least partial sway over the country's nuclear arsenal, his spokespeople maintained that he had been cured.

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