Wikileaks reveals standoff over nuclear fuel in Pakistan

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WASHINGTON - The secret US diplomatic communications leaked by Wikileaks have exposed a dangerous standoff over the use of highly enriched uranium in Pakistani reactor as America fears the fuel can be used for making illicit nuclear device.

Since 2007, the US has mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove from a Pakistani research reactor highly enriched uranium that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device, said The New York Times, which was given access to the over 250,000 secret memos of the US embassies across the world by the whistle-blowing website.

In May 2009, US ambassador Anne W. Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts because, as a Pakistani official said, “if the local media got word of the fuel removal, they certainly would portray it as the United States taking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons”.

The diplomatic documents suggest nearly a decade after the attacks of Sep 11, 2001, the dark shadow of terrorism still dominates the US relations with the world.

The documents show that the administration of President Barack Obama has been struggling to sort out which Pakistanis are trustworthy partners against Al Qaeda, adding Australians who have disappeared in the Middle East to terrorist watch lists, and assessing whether a lurking rickshaw driver in Lahore, Pakistan, was awaiting fares or conducting surveillance of the road to the US consulate.

The US had warned the governments of India, Britian, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Israel in advance of the bombshell release of the classified documents that the leaks would damage the US relationships around the world.

State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley said: “These revelations are harmful to the US and our interests. They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.”

The White House Sunday condemned the release of secret documents as “reckless” and “dangerous”.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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