Three days after President Musharraf returned to the continuing political crisis in Pakistan, he found time to travel to an undisclosed location (on Friday) to witness the test of a nuclear-capable missile.
Three days after President Musharraf returned to the continuing political crisis in Pakistan, he found time to travel to an undisclosed location (on Friday) to witness the test of a nuclear-capable missile. What sort of message was that supposed to send, less than three weeks before the postponed general election?
At one level, Musharraf is renewing his show of confidence in the military - on whose own confidence he relies - as, in his words "a highly professional, motivated and well-trained force".
At the same time, he is striking a chauvinist note for the voters, as he dismisses foreign alarm about the safety of nuclear weapons in such an unstable environment.
Musharraf rejects these as "imaginary scenarios being propounded by those who do not wish Pakistan well" and who are not reconciled to a nuclear Pakistan.
It does not really take much imagination to worry about the possible dangers of a nuclear Pakistan or to be concerned about further escalation with an equally nuclear India. Shortly before Musharraf witnessed the testing of the Ghauri (Hatf V) missile - range 1,300km - India's defence research development organisation announced that it is developing a "two-layered ballistic missile defence system".
Let's not forget that it was India that tested first, and then goaded Pakistan to respond in 1998, as the excellent account by Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik (New Nukes) makes very clear.
Now Indian missile scientists are complaining that Pakistan has always been "one step ahead" and that new weapons systems are needed.
Musharraf still refuses to let anyone interview the father of the Pakistani bomb (and nuclear proliferators), Abdul Qadeer Khan who in spite of allegedly supplying nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, remains out of jail in his fortified Islamabad home.
What Khan did or did not do has become a significant obstacle in the current negotiations with North Korea to provide economic aid in return for dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear programme.
Musharraf actually wrote in his memoirs that Khan provided "nearly two dozen" prototype centrifuges that could be used for uranium enrichment to North Korea - a claim strongly denied by Pyongyang, which demands that the US should "produce the invoice".
Western countries led by the US and Britain do not mind lecturing Musharraf on the need to restore democracy in his country (though Human Rights Watch in its latest report argues that their insistence on elections often means ignoring human rights abuses).
They profess to be quite relaxed though on the subject of nuclear weapons. When the Pakistan military tested another missile, a week before last Friday's test, the US state department said there was no need to worry: the test was "not unique and has, in fact, happened before".
When Musharraf was in London last month, Gordon Brown pressed him publicly to ensure that the elections were "credible", but said nothing about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
Of course they are privately worried and US plans to send in the special forces to secure Pakistan's nuclear installations, if their safety were threatened, were widely reported at the end of December.
Such a plan would be no more feasible than the notion that terrorists could successfully storm the installations and carry away a few bombs (Pakistan may have as many as 50 warheads). The real danger is not a surprise attack but that sympathisers in the military with the al-Qaida ideology might do another Khan.
According to professor of nuclear physics Pervez Hoodbhoy in Islamabad, while the weapons are secure, small amounts of fissile materials could still be smuggled out by those who believe that "force is the only answer".
Some plain words on nuclear matters from Brown would have been useful. He could even have expressed concern about the India-Pakistan nuclear rivalry. But a government that has recently renewed Trident may sound less than convincing.