ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Pakistani officials are trying to alleviate Western concerns over the security of its nuclear weapons program.
But gaining confidence may have been made more difficult by the nation's recent turmoil, including the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.
Musharraf pushed for tighter nuclear controls after 2004 revelations that the founder of the country's nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, had exchanged information and technology with Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Musharraf also strengthened Pakistan's military-run Strategic Plans Division, which is responsible for security of the nation's estimated 60 to 70 uranium bombs and three to five plutonium bombs.
But Pakistani's hope to equal India's recent success in gaining U.S. acceptance of its nuclear status, including the sharing of reactor technology, may require further change.
"Ultimately, there will have to be evidence of a strong civilian oversight for the world to accept that we are moving in to a new and more reassuring phase," said a senior U.S. official. "Maybe after President Musharraf, politicians gain enough clout in time that they become full partners in managing and securing the nuclear program," the U.S. official was quoted by the Times.