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US and UK diplomats feared Pakistan’s nuclear material could fall into the hands of terrorists, the latest leaked classified US diplomatic cables reveal.

The documents, released by Wikileaks, warn that Pakistan is rapidly building its nuclear stockpile despite the country’s growing instability.

One senior UK official said in one cable in 2009 that Britain had “deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons”.

The US has condemned the disclosures.

However, it says international partnerships it had worked hard to build would withstand the challenge.

In one cable from among the latest leaks, US ambassador to Islamabad Anne Patterson told Washington: “Our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but rather the chance someone working in government of Pakistan facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon.”

Another secret cable relating to a US intelligence briefing in 2008 said: “Despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world.”

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