The Bush administration expects to review U.S.
relations with Pakistan amid evidence that it has provided critical missile
and nuclear technology to Libya.
U.S. officials and congressional sources said such a review will take
place in late 2004 or 2005 and will examine the credibility of the regime of
President Pervez Musharraf and its military ties with such states as Egypt,
Iran, Libya and North Korea. They said Pakistan and the United States have
grown apart on a range of strategic issues, including the future of
Afghanistan, weapons of mass destruction technology and the war against Al
The son of Libyan ruler Moammar Khaddafy, Seif Al Islam, has identified
Pakistan as the leading supplier to Libya's nuclear program. Al Islam said
Libya spent $40 million on its nuclear program, with much of that money
paid to Islamabad, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Nothing will happen in the immediate future," an official said. "But
there's no denying that we are heading for a collision course and the best
we can hope for is to delay this for as long as possible."
The Bush administration has not been under pressure from Congress to
respond to evidence that Pakistan provided technology for Libya's uranium
enrichment and weaponization program. Congressional sources said the House
and Senate do not want to derail a reconciliation attempt by rival nuclear
nations India and Pakistan.
But officials and congressional sources said joint British and U.S.
inspections of Libyan nuclear and missile facilities yielded evidence of
significant Pakistani help to produce nuclear weapons components and
warheads. They said Pakistani scientists transferred expertise on how to
produce and install nuclear and WMD warheads on medium-range and
intermediate-range missiles acquired or developed by Libya.
"This is a story still unfolding," White House spokesman Scott
McClellan, who did not confirm the assertion, said on Tuesday.
The Libyan pronouncements have been backed by teams from Britain, the
United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Officials said
IAEA inspectors identified Pakistani equipment and centrifuge plans in
Libyan nuclear facilities during their visit in late December.
"President Musharraf has announced that he will be looking into it
himself very thoroughly," Secretary of State Colin Powell said. "And to the
extent that we can help him with information, we will."
Officials said U.S. intelligence has uncovered a network of technology
assistance to Libya that involved Iranian, North Korean and Pakistani
equipment. The network contained thousands of pieces of equipment for the
processing of enriched uranium that appeared to link Libya's nuclear program
with that of Iran. They said Pakistan and North Korea have cooperated to
help both Iran and Libya accelerate their missile and WMD programs.
Hussein Haqqani, a visiting scholar at the Washington-based Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace, said Pakistan's nuclear weapons have
become a "direct and urgent U.S. concern" despite the administration's
support for Musharraf. The researcher said the United States must act in
accordance to worst-case scenarios in which Pakistani nuclear technology
would be transferred to U.S. adversaries, including Al Qaida.
"It is relatively easier for the United States to deal with rogue states
like Libya, Syria or Iran, which can be subjected to sanctions or threatened
with military action," Haqqani wrote in an analysis for Carnegie. "Pakistan
under Gen. Musharraf has become more like Saudi Arabia: an ally too close to
Washington for public condemnation, but one engaged in actions that
intentionally or inadvertently help America's enemies."
The British-U.S. and IAEA inspections pointed to a 30-year nuclear
relationship between Libya and Pakistan. Congressional sources and U.S.
officials said Iran, Libya and Pakistan have cooperated to develop secret
nuclear weapons facilities since the mid-1980s. They said Libya has helped
financed the programs in Pakistan, which then relayed equipment and
technology to Iran and Tripoli.
According to the U.S. account, in 1973 Libya agreed to help finance
Pakistan's nascent nuclear program. In return, Pakistan pledged to help
Libya in the production of nuclear fuel. In the late 1970s, Libya supplied
Pakistan with uranium ore.
Congressional sources said Pakistan has used the United Arab Emirates
port of Dubai to smuggle nuclear materials to Iran, Iraq and Libya. They
said the extent of Pakistani involvement in Iran's and Libya's nuclear
has significantly increased since 2001.
So far, President George Bush has followed the policy of his
predecessors in refusing to acknowledge Pakistan's nuclear proliferation.
Instead, Bush has expressed support for Musharraf and suggested that he has
been unable to control rogue elements of his regime.
"He's been a stand-up guy when it comes to dealing with the terrorists,"
Bush said. "We are making progress against Al Qaida because of his