Pak gains spotlight during final US Presidential debate

President Barack Obama, right, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney discuss a point during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22

BOCA RATON, Florida: The final US Presidential debate raised questions over Pakistan, with Republican contender Mitt Romney apprehending that with 100 nuclear warheads if the country becomes a “failed state”, it would be an extraordinary danger to Afghanistan and America.
President Barack Obama exhibited his own trust deficit over Pakistan when he disclosed that had Islamabad been consulted on the commando operation to eliminate Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, the US would not have succeeded.
In the third and final debate which polls gave to incumbent President, 65-year-old Romney said Pakistan “is important to the region, to the world and to us” because it had 100 nuclear warheads and was rushing to build a lot more.
“They’ll have more than Great Britain sometime in the relatively near future,” Romney said.
“They also have the Haqqani network and Taliban existent within their country. And so a Pakistan that falls apart, becomes a failed state would be of extraordinary danger to Afghanistan and us.
“So we’re going to have to remain helpful in encouraging Pakistan to move towards a more stable government and rebuild a relationship with us. And that means that our aid that we provide to Pakistan is going to have to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met,” he said during the 90-minute debate ahead of the November 6 polls.
Romney argued that despite a strained relationship with Pakistan, the United States cannot afford to “divorce” Pakistan, which is a nation of over 100 nuclear weapons.
“No, it’s not time to divorce a nation on earth that has a hundred nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point, a nation that has serious threats from terrorist groups within its nation, the Taliban, Haqqani network. It’s a nation that’s not like others and that does not have a civilian leadership that is calling the shots there,” he said.
It is important for the US to recognize that it cannot just walk away from Pakistan, Romney said.
On his part, 51-year-old Obama said the US would have never killed al-Qaeda chief bin Laden if he had to seek permission from Pakistan, indicating the sheer lack of trust he had with the Pakistani leadership and it’s military in particular.
“If we had asked Pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten him. And it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him,” Obama said during the high-stake debate.
He said he has delivered what he had promised on al-Qaeda and bin Laden.
“When it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, you said, well, any President would make that call. But when you were a candidate in 2008 – as I was – and I said, if I got bin Laden in our sights, I would take that shot, you said we shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get one man, and you said we should ask Pakistan for permission,” Obama said.
Romney agreed that going after bin Laden without the permission of Pakistan was the right thing to do.
“I don’t blame the administration for the fact that the relationship with Pakistan is strained. We had to go into Pakistan; we had to go in there to get Osama bin Laden. That was the right thing to do,” said the Republican presidential candidate during Af-Pak section of the debate.
According to a CNN snap poll, Obama won the final presidential debate; and same was the case for other opinion polls including that of CBS news. While 48 per cent voted for Obama, 40 per cent supported Romney in the CNN poll. -PTI

0 - 0

Thank You For Your Vote!

Sorry You have Already Voted!