Washington timed Pak nuke revelations

Washington prompted the news reports on Pakistan nuclear record to put pressure on Musharraf to stand down on Kashmir, says the Guardian.

Washington has been pushing, too, and is unlikely to stop. Like Britain, US concerns focus on WMD and terrorism. The timing of weekend US media revelations about Pakistan’s role in nuclear arms proliferation was hardly coincidental. That followed earlier US leaks about secret Pakistani links to al-Qaida. Even China has been nagging Pakistan about terrorism. This kind of external lobbying is likely to continue. But to give him credit, Gen Musharraf has come a long way since Kargil in 1999. Kashmir doubtless remains close to his heart. But the need for peace grows more pressing. Mr Vajpayee agrees. All in south Asia, and beyond, will hope they can deliver.

This could be true because the Kahuta brochures which were published in the New York Times were first published online by David Albright in April 2003. Yet it did look like December 2003 was such a miserable month for Pakistan and Musharraf that the need for some good press was desparate.

Update: Washington Post’s Jim Hoagland argues that it was nuclear naming and shaming that caused Pakistan to investigate Dr AQ Khan and also to patch up with India.