Pak nukes might fall into hands of terrorist: Panetta

Washington: US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta fears that there is a danger of Pakistan`s nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists if terrorism is not controlled in the country.

"The great danger we`ve always feared is that if terrorism is not controlled in their country, than those nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands," Panetta told reporters at a Pentagon news conference here yesterday.

Panetta was responding to questions on a recent Congressional report which said Pakistan is increasing its nuclear capabilities, which are mainly targeted towards India.

"When I talk to the Pakistanis, I`ve always stressed the fact that we should have common cause with regards to confronting terrorism; that terrorists not only represent a threat to our country, terrorism represents a real threat to their country as well," he said.

"A lot of Pakistanis have died as a result of terrorism.

A lot of members of their military have died as a result of terrorism. And it`s important for them to recognize that threat and to act against that threat. And in particular, it`s important because they are a nuclear power," Panetta said.

In a recent report, the Congressional Research Service had said that Pakistan is increasing its production of nuclear weapons and improving the delivery mechanism of nuclear weapons, which is mainly targeted towards India.

The multiple attacks on Pakistani military facilities in recent years by terrorists heightened the fears in the West that nuclear weapons can fall into the hands of of terrorists.

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