A report has unveiled that Saudi officials are trying to strike “a secret deal” with Pakistan to buy nuclear weapons from the Asian country.
Citing the recent meeting between King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in Jeddah, United Press International (UPI) said that “these events heightened speculation Riyadh is trying to strike a secret deal with Islamabad to acquire nuclear weapons.”
The meeting came as Riyadh has started sending its special forces to Pakistan for military training.
“Abdullah’s surprise July 19 appointment of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the kingdom’s ambassador in Washington in 1983-2005 and a veteran of its usually clandestine security policy, as his new intelligence chief may be part of murky mosaic linking Saudi Arabia and Pakistan,” the report said.
It added that Bandar played a key role in the clandestine arming of Afghan militants during the 1979-89 Soviet invasion through Pakistan’s intelligence service.
“It’s long been believed that the Saudis bankrolled Pakistan’s nuclear program, in the 1970s and ’80s and now wants some reciprocity in the shape of readymade nuclear weapons, paid for by massive financial aid for Islamabad,” UPI said.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia may find that renewed military and nuclear cooperation is the best way to secure their interests,” Christopher Clary and Mara E. Karlin, former US Defense Department policy advisers on South Asia and the Middle East, wrote on The American Interest.
“As the United States re-examines its military posture toward South Asia and the Middle East in the context of its withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, it must explicitly consider the possibility of a Saudi-Pakistan nuclear bargain,” they said.
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