Pakistan is producing more bomb grade uranium for new generation of nuclear weapons, even while being racked by insurgency, raising questions on Capitol Hill whether billions of dollars in proposed US military aid could be diverted to its nuclear programme.
The fears among the members of the US Congress have been raised by a confidential briefing by top military commander who has told them that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear weaponry. Islamabad's moves to expand rapidly its nuclear weaponry, the New York Times said might complicate the US Administration's moves to speed up military and economic aid to Pakistan.
The paper said Pakistan efforts to build new nuclear weapons has been a source of concern to Washington, because it is coming at a time when the US is increasingly focused on trying to assure that Islamabad 80 to 100 nuclear bombs and missiles don't fall into the hands of terrorists groups. US feels that Pakistan's moves to multiply its nuclear weapons is also ill-timed as it comes when President Barack Obama has called for a passage of treaty that would bar nations from producing more fissile material.
Obama administration has conveyed to the Congress that all military aid for Pakistan was to help boost its capability to fight terrorism and not to be diverted to any other strategic programmes, the paper said. Washington has only earmarked a $100 million aid for Islamabad's classified programme to secure its weapons and fissile material from seizure by Taliban or al-Qaeda or militant with "inside loyalties". But Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen assertions before the house armed forces committee that the Pakistan nuclear arsenal is increasing has caused discomfort on the Capitol Hill. The Congressional briefings have taken place as Congress is considering proposals for a $3 billion aid over the next five years to train and equip Pakistan army and para-military formations in counter terrorism. The aid would be in addition to $7.5 billion in civilian assistance.