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Zardari Says Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Are Safe

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has ruled out the possibility of his country's nuclear weapons falling into the hands of the Taliban.

"I want to assure the world that the nuclear capability of Pakistan is under safe hands," he told a panel interview with Reuters and other international media.

The Taliban's creeping advances toward the Pakistani capital of Islamabad in recent weeks heightened fears in the United States about the stability of its nuclear-armed ally.

Western allies that need Pakistan's support to defeat Al-Qaeda and succeed in stabilizing Afghanistan dread the idea of any threat to the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

Zardari said Pakistan had a strong command and control system for its nuclear weapons that was fully in place.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview with Fox News last week that the United States could not contemplate the possibility of the Taliban taking control of Pakistan's nuclear assets.