Terrorists seeking Pak nukes: Obama

US President unveils a new Afghanistan-Pakistan policy, expands the war on terrorism

Terrorists seeking Pak nukes: Obama

 
 Barack Obama Unveiling his administration’s Af-Pak policy, Obama said America’s “security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan” and that the “stakes are even higher within a nuclear-armed Pakistan, because we know that al- Qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them”.

Describing the two countries as the “epicentre of violent extremism practised by Qaeda”, Obama said: “It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat.”

Obama announced 30,000 additional US troops for Afghanistan and a plan to start exiting from the war-torn country after 18 months.

Pakistani Taliban have targeted the country’s nuclear installations on three occasions in the past and have threatened to lay their hands on the atomic arsenal, causing serious concerns in the West.

‘Not just America’

Observing that this was not just America’s war, Obama said since 9/11, al Qaeda’s safe havens have been the source of attacks against London, Amman and Bali. “After escaping across the border into Pakistan in 2001 and 2002, al-Qaeda’s leadership established a safe haven there.”

He said in the last few months alone, extremists who were sent to the US from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror have been apprehended. “And, this danger will only grow if the region slides backwards, and al-Qaeda can operate with impunity”. He made it clear that pressure on al-Qaeda and extremists will be stepped up in coming months. “We must keep the pressure on al-Qaeda, and to do that, we must increase the stability and capacity of our partners in the region.”

“Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future,” the President said.

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