WikiLeaks Cables Expose Pakistan Nuclear Fears

"American and British diplomats fear Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme could lead to fissile material falling into the hands of terrorists or a devastating nuclear exchange with India.

The latest cache of US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks contains warnings that Pakistan is rapidly building its nuclear stockpile despite the country's growing instability and ""pending economic catastrophe"".

Mariot Leslie, a senior British Foreign Office official, told US diplomats in September 2009: ""The UK has deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons,"" according to one cable classified ""secret/noforn [no foreign nationals]"".

Seven months earlier the US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, cabled to Washington: ""Our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but rather the chance someone working in government of Pakistan facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon.""