Taliban claims it has no designs on Pakistan nukes

Washington: The Taliban has said they have no plans to attack Pakistan`s nuclear arsenal as their stepped-up violent campaign to avenge Osama bin Laden`s death has renewed fears that the country`s warheads could be vulnerable.

Declaring that "Pakistan is the only nuclear power state," Taliban Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that his group had no intention of changing the fact, Wall Street Journal reported.

A well coordinated Taliban attack on Pakistan key naval airbase at Karachi had triggered fresh global alarm that radical militant groups operating from the country`s restive tribal areas bordering Afghanistan might be out to snatch nuclear weapons.

Seeking to dismiss these concerns, Ehsan claimed that US was using this as an excuse to pressurise Pakistan government and military into fighting Taliban, whom he portrayed as country`s true protectors.

"Isn`t it a shame for us to have the Islamic bomb, and even then we are bowing down to the pressures of America?" the Taliban spokesman mocked.

WSJ said Ehsan`s remarks appeared tailored to appeal to that increasingly nationalist mainstream, where conspiracy theories flourish about American, Indian and Israeli plots to deprive Pakistan of its atomic arsenal. Pakistan`s nuclear capability is cherished here as the guarantor of safety from India`s far larger conventional military.