Kidnapped nuclear scientist being held for the past six months and forced to make a dirty bomb for the Al Qaeda and Taliban in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, reported by an Indian news organization, has set alarm bells ringing across South Asia.
The Zee News investigative report has claimed that the Pakistan Government in order to avoid embarrassment has kept this sensitive information under garbs, all the while.
The report locates the kidnapped scientists being held somewhere in Waziristan, near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The kidnapped scientists are reported to have worked for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, which is the country’s premier organization handling the sensitive nuclear program including development of nuclear weapons.
The North West Frontier Province does have a site where uranium ore is mined by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.
Only recently, the terrorist organization had attempted to kidnap other nuclear scientists near Peshawar, in January. Al-Qaedya longing for nuclear weapons is well known.
Dick Cheney, US Vice-president traveling with Steve Kappes, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deputy director did do some tough talking over lunch with President Musharraf about controlling the spread of terrorism from the lawless Afghan-Pakistan border. One wonders whether evidence about the attempt by Taliban’s and Al – Qaeda to develop a dirty nuclear bomb was also discussed at the unscheduled meet.
Pakistan’s nuclear program is already suspect and the role of the now closed Khan Laboratories in proliferation of nuclear weapons to nations like Korea, Iran and Libya did attract much criticism from United States and other Western nations.
Unless the Al-Qaeda nuclear cell is not busted and the allegedly kidnapped scientists not released, one may not know where the terrorist may strike next, possibly even with nuclear weapons. None other than the Pakistani authorities backed by American and NATO forces in Afghanistan can crack up the deathly cocktail that is cooking on the Afghan-Pakistan border.