Saturday, May 23, 2009

All options open on securing Pak nukes: Obama

Obama claims that Islamabad's sovereignty is to be respected. But then if all options are open to secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons that would include not respecting Islamabad's sovereignty if he thinks conditions warrant it. Pakistan already claims that the drone attacks already violate Pakistan''s sovereignty however at the same time targets are apparently suggested and some drones use airbases in Pakistan!

All options open on securing Pak nukes: Obama

Monday, May 18, 2009 Says Islamabad’s sovereignty to be respected; US working to strengthen PakistanWASHINGTON/NEW YORK: US President Barack Obama has voiced confidence in the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear assets. But at the same time, he made it clear that he could consider all options to secure the nuclear weapons, if the country got less stable.“Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is safe,” he said in an interview with the Newsweek magazine. “I don’t want to engage in hypotheses around Pakistan, other than to say we have confidence that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is safe; that the Pakistani military is equipped to prevent extremists from taking over those arsenals. As commander-in-chief, I have to consider all options, but I think that Pakistan’s sovereignty has to be respected,” he said.Obama was asked whether Washington would have the option alive to secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in the event of instability in the country, striving to overcome challenges of militancy along its Afghan border. He said: “We are trying to strengthen them as a partner, and one of the encouraging things is, over the last several weeks we’ve seen a decided shift in the Pakistan Army’s recognition that the threat from extremism is a much more immediate and serious one than the threat from India that they’ve traditionally focused on.”Questioned how he decided on sending additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, Obama said his administration felt that the existing approach was not working and that instability in the insurgency-hit Afghan border areas was destabilising Pakistan as well.Obama said: “I think the starting point was recognition that the existing trajectory was not working, that the Taliban had made advances, that our presence in Afghanistan was declining in popularity, that the instability along the border region was destabilising Pakistan as well. So, that was the starting point of the decision.”The US president said it would be premature to talk about more troops for Afghanistan at the moment. “I think it’s premature to talk about additional troops. My strong view is that we are not going to succeed simply by piling on more and more troops.“The Soviets tried that; it didn’t work out too well for them. The British tried it; it didn’t work. We have to see our military action in the context of a broader effort to stabilise security in the country, allow national elections to take place in Afghanistan and then provide space for the vital development work that’s needed, so that a tolerant and open, democratically-elected government is considered far more legitimate than a Taliban alternative,” he responded when asked if he was open to sending more troops to Afghanistan if the latest addition of troops could not make the progress the US needed to make. Obama said: “The military component is critical to accomplishing that goal, but it is not a sufficient element by itself.”

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