International community worried over Pakistani nukes falling into Taliban’s handANILast Updated: Oct 22, 2021, 10:28 AM
The Taliban has cleared its intention about developing its nuclear programme. It has appointed engineer Najeebullah as head of atomic energy. In such a scenario, the world will be on the verge of catastrophe if the Taliban manages to overrun Pakistan and seize around 150 nukes.
After the Taliban’s return to Afghanistan, various former diplomats, military experts have expressed concerns over the collapse of the Islamabad government as the Taliban has expressed its intention about developing its nuclear programme, said foreign policy expert Fabien Baussart.
The Times of Israel blog also stated that with Pakistan’s overall nuclear programme being based on stolen technology from the Netherlands and a huge number of Taliban supporters in the country, the world community needs to give serious attention to the burgeoning concern that poses challenges to the existence of humankind.
Citing US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, Baussart said that he has warned that the speedy withdrawal of the US troops increased the risks to Pakistan’s security as well as its nuclear weapons.
“We estimated an accelerated withdrawal would increase risks of regional instability, the security of Pakistan and its nuclear arsenals,” he said. The hastily implemented troop withdrawal could lead to the Taliban getting its hand on Pakistani nuclear missiles, John Bolton, former US national security adviser. “The Taliban in control of Afghanistan threatens the possibility of terrorists taking control of Pakistan … that means maybe 150 nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists,” he said.
According to recent incidents, Taliban supporters were found in suspicious condition near nuclear installations in the UK. An Afghan national, suspected to be a Taliban supporter, was spotted to be near a nuclear submarine base in Scotland. This alerted the authorities in the UK. Now, the suspected person Waheed Totakhyl has been asked to leave the area. This has given strong clues about the Taliban being interested in nuclear technology and weapons.
In February 2020, the Afghanistan Nuclear Energy Agency had expressed concerns over after the Taliban began to resurge. The then-Afghan ambassador to Austria Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel had said “Some areas of the country are controlled by insurgent groups and national and international terrorist groups are active across the country. We have a serious concern about the illegal transportation of nuclear materials through Afghanistan by these groups.” Author Ronald Jacquard has warned that Pakistan’s nuclear assets cannot be considered remote after the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan. “Thus, the international community have to watch Pakistan’s nuclear program cautiously until some form of stability returns to Afghanistan in order to prevent the country’s nuclear assets from landing in the hands of rogue elements,” he said.
The former democratic government in Afghanistan blamed the Pakistan establishment for joining hands with the Taliban to facilitate the Islamist radicals, who despise other religions, to rule the country. John Bolton, the former US National Security Adviser, said the Taliban could obtain Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal as the Pakistan government was directly responsible for the Taliban’s return, the Fabien Baussart said.