The World's Worst Nuclear Nightmare?

Pakistan's coup has put a risk-taking general in charge

The Oct. 12 news from Pakistan sent a chill through the world's capitals. A hawkish military general, Pervaiz Musharraf, had seized power in a bloodless coup and ousted that country's dem-ocratically elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Exactly where Musharraf stood on using nuclear weapons, transferring nuclear technology to Islamic fundamentalist friends, or provoking further conflict with longtime enemy India was a bleak and scary unknown. "This is exactly the kind of thing we have always worried about," says nonproliferation expert Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. "This sends the red alarm lights off."

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