Seemingly Stable

Dell Dailey, the principal advisor to the Secretary of State on counterterrorism matters, said Tuesday he has seen no indication that the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons has been placed in jeopardy since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on Dec. 27, 2007. “To the best of my knowledge, the security of the nuclear weapons has been first rate before, during, and after the crisis that the Pakistanis had,” Dailey said during a breakfast meeting with Washington-based defense reporters on Jan. 22 (see above). The death of Bhutto, an opposition leader to the government of President Pervez Musharraf, resulted in political turmoil and sectarian violence. But Dailey said he was aware of no compelling ground for the US to intervene to safeguard the nukes, noting that Pakistanis regard them as a “crown jewel.” “If they had to have non-Pakistanis protect [them], I think that would be really difficult for the Pakistani people to accept and difficult for the Pakistani government to solicit,” he said. When asked if there are signs of instability in the Pakistani intelligence service or Army since the Bhutto killing, he said Pakistani institutions have been “rock solid” throughout the crisis.