Pakistan steps up nuclear construction: images Tue Oct 5, 5:42 pm ET WASHINGTON (AFP) – Pakistan appears to have stepped up construction of a new atomic reactor that could help the country produce easier-to-deliver nuclear weapons, a US research institute said Tuesday. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is a highly sensitive topic for the United States as it tries to improve relations with its frontline partner in the campaign against Islamic extremism. The Institute for Science and International Security, a private US group which is critical of nuclear weapons, said it observed progress at Pakistan’s tightly guarded Khushab site which is key to plutonium production. In a September satellite image of the site in Punjab province, the institute said it observed a completed row of mechanical draft cooling towers at a third reactor, where construction began in 2006. It marks a faster pace than for the second reactor, where such towers appeared after six years of construction, it said. “Based on what I see in the image, it wouldn’t surprise me if they started it up in 2011,” said Paul Brannan, a senior analyst at the institute.

General Khalid Shameem Wynne assumed the charge as new Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Rawalpindi – October 8, 2010: Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Khalid Shameem Wynne assumed the charge of his office today. A simple but impressive ceremony was held at the Joint Staff Headquarters to formally welcome the newly appointed Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Khalid Shameem Wynne on assumption of the appointment. On arrival at the Joint Staff Headquarters he was received by the Director General Joint Staff, Lieutenant General Sardar Mahmood Ali Khan. A smartly turned out contingent of the Three-Services presented the guard of honour to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, who reviewed the parade. Later, Director Generals of the Joint Staff Headquarters were introduced to the new Chairman. General Khalid Shameem holds vast experience of serving at various command and staff appointments.

Musharraf was close ally of US: Pentagon Washington, October 06, 2010 Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who has admitted that his country had trained underground militant groups to fight in Kashmir, was a close ally of the US in the war on terrorism, the Pentagon has said. “He (Musharraf) was a very close ally. They (Pakistan) had a very tough choice to make. Pakistan did, in the wake of the attacks of 9/11, given some of the terrorist threats within their own country,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters when asked about the role of Musharraf in war against terrorism post 9/11. “They came out strongly and forcefully as an ally of this country in the war on terror. And that’s where they’ve remained ever since. So we’re enormously appreciative of that fact,” Morrell said.

A Hatf III (Ghaznavi) short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile is launched from an undisclosed location in Pakistan in May 2010. Pakistan, which experts estimate now has up to 100 nuclear weapons, has been adamant that its nuclear weapons are in safe hands and President Barack Obama has publicly concurred. (AFP/ISPR/Ho/File)

Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf gives a news conference at the launch of his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in London October 1, 2010. Pakistan’s former military ruler Musharraf said on Friday he will return to lead a new political party to tackle corruption, revive the sluggish economy and step up the fight against Islamist militants. Musharraf, who quit office in 2008 to avoid impeachment charges, said he feared the nuclear-armed country could break up without a change of political leadership. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN – Tags: POLITICS)

Pakistan's Sufi drummer Nasir Sain performs during a musical concert in Islamabad, Pakistan on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010. The musical concert was organized by the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan and Pakistan National Council of Arts to pay tribute to slain American journalist Daniel Pearl. Pearl was kidnapped and slain while researching a story on Islamic militancy in Karachi in 2002.« Read less
(AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani (3rd L) and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan exit an Army helicopter after taking a tour of flood affected areas near Multan in Pakistan’s Punjab province October 13, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer (PAKISTAN – Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)

A Pakistan army soldier stands guard as volunteers load relief items for flood affected people on to a U.S. forces Chinook helicopter in Kalam in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Sherin Zada)

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