US will exercise all options to secure Pak nukes : Obama

May 18th, 2009 - 12:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, May 18 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has said that all options are open regarding the safeguarding of Pakistan’s nuclear assets, which may fall into the Taliban’s hand.

In an interview with Newsweek, Obama appeared assured about the safety Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, but also made it clear that United States would not hesitate to take emergency steps if the situation demanded.

He said America would certainly respect Pakistan’s sovereignty in the event of an emergency.

“Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is safe. 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,” Obama said.

Pakistan is beginning to shift its focus from India to troubles inside its own territory, and also recognizes that the real threat to it comes from extremism and not from India, Obama said.

“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,” he said.

When asked what prompted him to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, Obama said the existing strategy was not working in the region and the instability in the insurgency-hit region along the Afghan border was destabilizing Pakistan also.

“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,” Obama added. (ANI)

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