Published August 13, 2009
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: There is alarming new information about Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal. According to a article published by a West Point research group, the Taliban has attacked Pakistan's nuclear facilities at least three times.
The article warns the threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists is real. Should we be worried, and are we doing enough?
Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger joins us live. Dr. Kissinger, should we be worried concerned that the nuclear arsenal in Pakistan will get into the hands of Islamic extremists or the Taliban?
HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I think it is certainly a matter of concern of any nuclear weapons falling into the hands of extremists, and especially in Pakistan, where there is a very active jihadist movement.
I have seen no evidence that would question that Pakistan has a under firm control, but it is an issue that should concern that should concern not only us but any other country that could be affected by a nuclear attack by terrorists.
VAN SUSTEREN: The heightened alarm, at least, on Pakistan, besides the fact that they have got so much turmoil, includes the fact that the military is in charge of protecting it, and it is hard for us to think the military is not somewhat sympathetic -- some of the military - - sympathetic to the extremists and anti-western. Am I wrong?
KISSINGER: Some elements in the military might well be sympathetic to extremists.
On the other hand, the military in Pakistan are the best organized and in many respects the most disciplined group. And if I had to bet between the military and other security forces, I would rely more on the military.
But there are elements in the military that have been encouraging to the Taliban, especially inside Afghanistan.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I guess the other thing that sort of alarms me is that there is a history in Pakistan.
You have got A.Q. Khan, who is the father of nuclear technology in Pakistan, who was arrested, confessed to being essentially the Wal-Mart of nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, and then he got, after confessing, he gets pardoned by the President, Musharraf, and even now, he has been released.
So the political structure seems to look the other way.
KISSINGER: What you say is absolutely true. But we have two challenges in Pakistan. One is the challenge you described. The second is the importance that Pakistan has in the fight in Afghanistan.
And what we're trying to do apparently is to walk a narrow path within them, but what we will have to do sooner or later, and maybe we are doing it already, is to have some quiet conversations with other countries that might be affected by jihadists' access to nuclear weapons in the region. And many of Pakistan's neighbors are in that position.
But we also, of course, would like to maintain the cooperation of Pakistan and increase it in Afghanistan. So it is a tough road that we have to walk.
VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed. You speak of Pakistan's neighbors, and the first thing I think of, of course, India. What do you make of India's stopping that North Korea ship? All we know right now is that they found something like, 16,000 tons of sugar. They are still looking at it. But what do you make of India stopping a North Korean ship?
KISSINGER: India is imposing the Security Council resolution, and I think it is a very positive sign. India has been very cooperative with us, and they had very many parallel interests with respect to Islamic terrorism and with respect to the nuclear danger. So I consider that an extremely positive action on the part of the Indian government.
VAN SUSTEREN: Am I wrong to be suspicious that North Korea might have been being a little coy? Because sending that ship off in the direction that they did, knowing that someone was likely to stop it, and having 16,000 tons of sugar sort of makes the stopping country look a little bit, well, wrong, for one.
KISSINGER: Nobody knows what the North Koreans have on their ships. But we ought to understand what the North Korea challenge is. If North Korea, a country that has no significant economy, that has no close relations with any other country in the economic field, if they can get away with defying the Security Council, the United States, China, Japan, and Russia, and South Korea, and establish a nuclear arsenal, why would any other country, especially countries like Iran, have any respect for what these resolutions might be?
That is the key issue. We have no quarrel with North Korea, as such. But if North Korea becomes a nuclear country in the face of all of these obstacles then we are going to have a grave challenge.
And the Pakistan issue that we started with is an aspect of this whole issue, because if nuclear- weapons spread around the world, then some unauthorized use sooner or later is going to happen, and then we're going to see suffering far exceeding anything we have seen up to now.
VAN SUSTEREN: Secretary Kissinger, thank you. It's always nice to see you, sir. Thank you.
KISSINGER: Great pleasure.
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