US expert on S Asia warns against unilateral US strikes on Pakistan

March 14th, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Mar 14 (ANI): Former CIA officer and an expert of South Asia, Bruce Riedel has said that any unilateral US action to secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons would be highly counter-productive and could make a bad situation infinitely worse.

Riedel, who served under three US presidents, said this while commenting on media reports that a section of the Bush administration and the Congress advocate a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to prevent religious extremists from accessing these weapons.

“For one thing, it just couldn’t be done. We don’t know where they are, and how we are going to secure them, and secondly, raising the spectre of an American attack on Pakistan only creates a worse situation and legitimately makes Pakistanis wonder about what America’s intentions are,” the Dawn quoted him as saying.

Riedel, who played a key role in US-Pakistan negotiations during the Kargil crisis, added: “So, it would be one of the most dangerous things the United States could ever do, because it really would make a bad situation even worse.”

He further said that instead of considering military actions, the US should help stabilise the new democratic set up in Pakistan. An elected civilian government, with oversight over the nuclear weapons programme, is the best possible solution, he added.

Riedel also rejected the possibility of a militant take over of Pakistan, and consequently a militant control over of the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, as “a non-issue”. (ANI)

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