Pak nukes 200 per cent safe: Malik

Islamabad: Asserting that Pakistan`s nuclear weapons are "200 per cent safe" despite a series of terror attacks on military installations, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said the country has strong monitoring and control mechanisms in place to protect its atomic programme.

Though the recent attack on the PNS Mehran naval airbase in Karachi and detection of Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad triggered fears that there could be rogue elements in Pakistani military, Malik told Newsweek magazine that the country`s "nuclear weapons are 200 per cent safe."

"The assets are well protected and tightly monitored. The (International Atomic Energy Agency) agrees with us. We should be wary of the disinformation being spread against our nuclear programme, including the suggestion that the US may move to denuclearise Pakistan," he said.

Top US Senator John Kerry, during a recent visit to Pakistan, addressed this "misperception and categorically denied any intention on the part of the US" to take any step against the country`s nuclear assets, Malik said.

"We have strong monitoring and control mechanisms in place to ensure that no harm can be done to our nuclear programme," he said.

Malik also said that some retired military officers or relatives of armed forces personnel may have been involved in the May 22 terrorist raid on the Naval airbase in Karachi that killed 10 people and destroyed two surveillance aircraft.

"The way it was done, I suspect some retired officers or some soldier`s relatives may have been involved," Malik said about the attack on the PNS Mehran naval airbase.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out to avenge the killing of bin Laden in a US raid last month.