Musharraf Puts Nukes Under His Control

Arsenal's safety, January vote factor into president's move
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2007 2:33 PM CST
A Pakistani protester shouts anti-government slogans before a placard reads 'Emergency is unacceptable', to condemn the state of emergency imposed by President Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan, Friday, Dec...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pervez Musharraf moved today to put Pakistan’s nuclear weapons under the control of the president rather than the prime minister, the BBC reports. The ordinance comes amid concern from abroad about the safety of Pakistan's arsenal—termed "foolproof" by the country's military—and with parliamentary elections set for Jan. 8 that could yield a government unfriendly to Musharraf.

With the elections ahead and Islamic militancy on the rise, Musharraf assumed control of the National Command Authority, the body in control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, though the move must be formalized by parliament. "There is a transition in process and the country is returning to full democracy, so whatever things were left to be done are being done," said a military spokesman.