US Has Several Teams Ready If Pak N-Bombs Fall In Unsafe Hands, Says Journalist Seymour Hersh

Veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh in an interview to Pak news channel Geo News  on Tuesday said that the US had not only one, but several teams ready to act if Pakistan's nuclear assets fall
us has several teams ready if pak n bombs fall in...
PTI November 11, 2009 10:11 IST

Veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh in an interview to Pak news channel Geo News  on Tuesday said that the US had not only one, but several teams ready to act if Pakistan's nuclear assets fall in unsafe hands.
 
Defending his article on Pak nuclear assets published in The New Yorker, Hersh said he had recofirmed all quotes from President Zardari and former President Pervez Musharraf himself.
 
Talking to anchor Shahid Masood and Group Editor of The News Shaheen Sehbai, Hersh said he had not only double checked the quotes of President Asif Zardari and Pakistani officials but he even had written proof of what was told to him.

“Not even President Zardari but even former president Musharraf was sent all the quotes that were published and they reconfirmed them. Even officials who were not named were asked and the facts were checked,” Hersh said.

He disclosed not one but many special teams had been prepared by the US to deal with any situation in Pakistan in which the nuclear weapons could land in wrong hands. He was asked by Shaheen Sehbai whether he trusted the former president Musharraf or current President Zardari more qualified to control the nuclear button in Pakistan.

Hersh jokingly said: “Shaheen, I trust you more than both of them but I will not answer this question as I do not want to commit suicide.”
 
Dr Masood asked Hersh as to who had issued the false alarm which caused a US hit squad, as reported by Hersh, to fly out of Maryland and land in Dubai where it was stopped because the alarm was found to be false.

Hersh said the alarm about the missing component of the Pakistani nuke programme was raised by the US embassy in Islamabad but it was found to be a false alarm. Nevertheless a US team had arrived in Dubai.

Hersh did not describe the team as a ‘hit squad' but said the team had experts who wanted to help Pakistan and there were several teams in the US which were ready for such situations.

He was asked about the quotes of former president Musharraf about President Zardari in which he was called a criminal, a fraud and a third rater.
 
Hersh said he had not only quoted Musharraf correctly but had withheld many other comments which he found more disparaging and did not report them.

 
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