December 2, 2008 10:44:42 am
Counting many elements, including terrorism and nuclear weapons, in Pakistan as causes of international worries, a former top US official has described the South Asian country as an “international migraine”.
“…my own sense is Pakistan has everything that gives you an international migraine. It has nuclear weapons, it has terrorism, extremists, corruption, very poor and it’s in a location that’s really, really important to us. And now with this issue with India. So, I think that the current president and the current secretary of state, who’s on her way to India right now, have a very big job ahead of them,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
“And I also do think that the next president and the secretary of state are going to have to pay a great deal of attention to that combination of issues, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, that all fit together. That’s very important to the United States,” she added.
In the wake of current tension between India and Pakistan following the Mumbai terror attacks, Albright said that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was trying very hard to deal with the issue.
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“…there’s an agreement that the Pakistanis understand what the issue is. I think that if we have clear evidence and intelligence that is one part of this. And that is the Achilles’ heel of everything, which is whether you have actual intelligence.
“…I think that he is their president and he is working very hard to try to get control over what is a very difficult place,” she added.
Responding to a query on a remark made by President-elect Barack Obama, at his press conference in Chicago, in the wake of last week’s terror attacks in Mumbai, the ex-official also endorsed the stand of the incoming US president.
“I think that what President-elect Obama said about the fact that every country, under the United Nations, has the right to defend itself, that is absolutely true. But it’s also true that they are investigating everything right now and that it is not appropriate for those of us that are not in the government to comment on this,” Albright said on CNN’s Situation Room programme.
“I think that sovereign nations obviously have a right to protect themselves. Beyond that, I don’t want to comment on the specific situation that has taken place in South Asia right now,” Obama had said when asked if India had the same right as he claimed his administration had in going after terror targets inside Pakistan with or without the permission of the government in Islamabad.
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