90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Pakistan's Fight, America's Fear
A Pakistani paramilitary soldier with a rocket launcher stands guard as local residents gather at close to the site of suicide bombing on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan Tuesday, May 5, 2009. A suicide car bomber killed four security forces and wounded passing schoolchildren Tuesday in Pakistan's volatile northwest, where the government is under pressure from Washington to crack down on militants. (AP)

A Pakistani paramilitary soldier with a rocket launcher stands guard as local residents gather close to the site of suicide bombing on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 5, 2009. (AP)

The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan are sitting down with Barack Obama today at the White House. One with a country in desperate trouble. One with a country in desperate trouble — plus nuclear weapons.

Pakistan is a significant nuclear power, with maybe a hundred very real nuclear bombs. It also has a Taliban insurgency on the march only 60 miles from its capitol, a military of uncertain capacity and uncertain loyalty, and a hovering Al Qaeda that all assume would love to have its own nukes for terror.

This hour, On Point: Pakistan’s frightening instability, and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

What do you see coming from Pakistan? If the country blows up, what about its bombs? Do you fear they will be everywhere? Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

 Joining us from Islamabad is Mosharraf Zaidi, columnist for Pakistan’s biggest English-language newspaper, The News, and for the Egyptian paper al-Shorouk. His work also appears in the Far Eastern Economic Review.

Joining us from Washington is David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times. He reported earlier this week on increasing U.S. concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

In our studio we’re joined by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, former director of intelligence and counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy, where he tracked Al Qaeda’s efforts to obtain nuclear arms. Before that he spent 23 years at the CIA, where he was a senior officer sent to Pakistan to determine whether nuclear technology had been passed to Osama bin Laden. He is currently senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Mowatt-Larssen contributes to an online discussion, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Scenarios, U.S. Solutions,” at NYTimes.com.

And from Washington we’re joined by Stephen Cohen, senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. His books include “Four Crises and a Peace Process: American Engagement in South Asia” and “The Idea of Pakistan.”

More links:

As Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari heads to the White House today, The New York Times reports this morning on his efforts to reassure Washington about his government’s stability and its campaign to repel the Taliban.

In an opinion piece in yesterday’s Washington Post titled “Pakistan’s Critical Hour,” Pakistani journalist (and past On Point guest) Ahmed Rashid writes: “Pakistan is on the brink of chaos, and Congress is in a critical position: U.S. lawmakers can hasten that fateful process, halt it or even help turn things around.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

Mar 30, 2015
Sweet Briar College, an all-women's liberal arts college in Virginia, announced in early 2015 that it would unexpectedly close its doors at the end of the school year. (Courtesy Sweet Brian College)

Fareed Zakaria weighs the value of a liberal arts education in our technology-driven time.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

 
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment