“It is no secret that the United States has a plan to try to grab Pakistan’s nuclear weapons – if and when the (US) president believes they are a threat to either the US or US interests,” NBC reported.
“As US-Pakistani relations spiral downward, the spectre of a showdown between the increasingly antagonistic allies is garnering more attention, including the worst-case scenario of the US attempting to snatch Pakistan’s 100-plus nuclear weapons if it feared they were about to fall into the wrong hands,” the report said.
In an interview with NBC News, former president Pervez Musharraf warned that a snatch-and-grab operation would lead to all-out war between the countries, calling it total confrontation by the whole nation against whoever comes in. “These are assets which are the pride of Pakistan, assets which are dispersed and very secure in very secure places, guarded by a corps of 18,000 soldiers,” said Musharraf.“This is not an army which doesn’t know how to fight. This is an army which has fought three wars. Please understand that,” he said.
Pervez Hoodboy too says a US attempt to take control of Pakistan’s nukes would be foolhardy. “They are said to be hidden in tunnels under mountains, in cities, as well as regular air force and army bases,” he said. “A US snatch operation could trigger war; it should never be attempted.”
Despite such comments, interviews with current and former US officials, military reports and even congressional testimony indicate that Pakistan’s weaponry has been the subject of continuing discussions, scenarios, war games and possibly even military exercises by US intelligence and special forces regarding so-called “snatch-and-grab” operations.