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The News Line: News SAUDI’S AIM IS TO BUY NUKES FROM PAKISTAN SAUDI officials are trying to strike a deal with Pakistani Prime Minister Pervez Ashraf to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan.

The recent meeting between King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Ashraf in Jeddah, discussed the nuclear situation in the Gulf area.

The meeting came after Saudi Arabia began sending its special forces to Pakistan for special military training.

It is an open secret that the Saudis bankrolled Pakistan’s nuclear programme, in the 1970s and 1980s, which involved getting hold of top secret US information and now wants some reciprocity in the shape of readymade nuclear weapons, in exchange for major Saudi financial aid for the Islamabad government.

Christopher Clary and Mara E Karlin, former US Defence Department policy advisers on South Asia and the Middle East, have publicly suggested: ‘Pakistan and Saudi Arabia may find that renewed military and nuclear cooperation is the best way to secure their interests.

‘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.’

Their comments came in the wake of 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 security policy, as new Saudi intelligence chief.

Bandar is said to have played a key role in the clandestine arming of Afghan militants during the 1979-89 Soviet invasion through Pakistan’s intelligence service.

• Russia’s navy chief said on Thursday that a flotilla of Russian warships off the coast of Syria would not dock at a Syrian port leased by Moscow.

‘The joint fleet flotilla will not enter the port of Tartus,’ Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov told journalists. ‘It is carrying out military drills in the Mediterranean.’

The flotilla is comprised of 10 warships, plus escort vessels. Chirkov also said the flotilla was carrying marines.

President Vladimir Putin vowed earlier this year not to allow in Syria a repeat of last year’s ‘Libya scenario,’ which saw the ouster and murder of long-time Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi after a NATO military campaign.


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