US think-tanks dub Pak as biggest threat to American interests worldwide

October 6th, 2008 - 1:11 pm ICT by ANI  

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Washington , Oct 6 (ANI): The American media and think-tanks under the aegis of Pakistan Policy Working Group are said to have arrived at a conclusion that Pakistan was the biggest threat to American interests across the world, and, hence, it has emerged as one of the major issues in the US election.

The Working Group has brought out a report saying that Pakistan might be the single largest challenge the next US president might face. Noted American expert on South Asia Stephen Cohen is one of the authors of the report.

The report warned: Pakistan may be the single greatest challenge facing the next American president. Pakistan is suffering its greatest internal crises since partition. We find US interests in Pakistan are more threatened now than at any time since the Taliban were driven from Afghanistan in 2001.

As the September 19 bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad demonstrates, there is little time to waste. Our options in Pakistan are diminishing rapidly, added the report.

It noted that political developments in both Pakistan and the US make this an opportune moment to recalibrate US policy. The upcoming US presidential election will bring a new set of policymakers to power and a potential willingness to consider fresh approaches to managing the difficult but exceedingly important US-Pakistan relationship, the Dawn quoted the report as saying.

The report also included recommendations for strengthening the US policy towards Pakistan , urging Washington to exhibit patience with Pakistan s new democratically elected leaders, while working to stabilise the government through economic aid and diplomacy. But, at the same time, it emphasise to the Pakistan government that US patience was not unlimited, and that the US is prepared to be patient only so long as the Pakistan government is achieving visible results in its efforts against the extremists in the tribal areas. Invest in US institutions and personnel in Pakistan . And increase support for civilian institutions that would provide oversight of the military and the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Walter Andersen of the Johns Hopkins University warned that any US President would come under enormous pressure if US troops continued to be killed by Pakistan-based insurgents, and regardless of which party he belonged to, he would order strikes at Pakistan.

Rodney Jones, who runs a local consultancy, warned that Pakistan and the US were on a collision course and immediate steps were needed avoid a crash. (ANI)

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