US needs to rethink its foreign policy to reduce risk of jihadists accessing Pak’s nuclear stockpile - Firstpost
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US needs to rethink its foreign policy to reduce risk of jihadists accessing Pak’s nuclear stockpile


Hillary Clinton is worried about jihadists accessing Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile and converting some of the enriched uranium into a n-suicide bomber.

After the firing in Baramulla, an incursion which underscores the fact that we can expect more raids into Indian territory the ‘probable’ new President of the United States has expressed concern not so much for the Indian lives that might be extinguished but the off-chance that such a suitcase bomb could make it across the pond and into the United States.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Fair enough. Security, like charity, begins at home and it is a legitimate concern. The cruel fact is that the US has allowed things to come to this pass. One would have thought that after Abottabad and the targeting of Osama Bin Laden living in the military area of the city, Washington would have got the message.

There are terrorist training in that country and living there and making threats with barefaced impunity. Surely, that message is not written in Latin or Greek so it becomes a bit of a humourless joke when the then Secretary of State and now White House contender makes such a naïve statement.

If she truly wants to reduce the risk of the wind blowing nuclear dust in the wrong direction or sending the Doomsday Clock zooming to midnight the first step is to stop equating India and Pakistan. The two are not flip sides of the same coin. Unless the US stops mincing about and starts taking the terror export seriously the odds that it will also be a target increase exponentially.

It is not as though Hillary has come right out and said it in a transparent and public fashion. Her fear is echoed in a hacked audio from a democratic party closed door session.

She says: “We live in fear that they’re going to have a coup, that jihadists are going to take over the government, they’re going to get access to nuclear weapons, and you’ll have suicide nuclear bombers. So, this could not be a more threatening scenario.”

By ‘they’ we reckon she means Pakistan.

Even if it is a bit farfetched at this point, what is the US government doing about it?

Having sold nearly $5 billion worth of arms in this century including F16 Block 60 fighters there is still more to come, the contradiction is razor sharp.

They want to sue Saudi Arabia but not the country where the mastermind of the 9/11 plot was living.

Without the US to prop it up Pakistan becomes a failed state. The trouble with US foreign policy is that it keeps fighting Congressman Charlie Wilson’s war except that it has neither Charlie’s conviction nor does it see Pakistan as an enemy as Charlie did the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Instead of saying to Islamabad, okay, enough already, it will arm it further by convincing the Appropriations Committee that the Pakistan government needs to bristle with arms to ensure the jihadists don’t overrun it.

What it should say is let’s join the battle against the common enemy and remove the jihadists from the chess board. Hello New Delhi, this is Washington.

When you think that just a few days ago the Defence Minister of Pakistan Khwaja Muhammad Asif announced his nation’s intent to annihilate India if threatened, Hillary’s words should give her, Donald Trump and Barack Obama grand pause for thought.

You want the nuclear nightmare to become a reality or fade away? Decide whether you are the accelerator or the brake.

First Published On : Oct 3, 2016 20:46 IST

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