By Shaun Gregory
It’s a nightmare scenario: al Qaeda militants gain control of a Pakistani nuclear weapon, either through a base assault, theft or a rogue commander’s cooperation, possibly in the event of hostilities with nuclear-armed neighbour India. Militants could seize control of a Hatf-9 system — essentially a rocket launcher on a truck. Militants could attack a base, seize a warhead or its core materials and then escape. Rogue commanders could, in a conflict with India, hand over codes and weapons to militants or cooperate with them. The more mercenary types might simply sell them.