Biden calls Pakistan most dangerous nation, invites sharp reactions
United States President Joe Biden described Pakistan as "one of the most dangerous nations in the world" claiming the country possesses nuclear weapons without any coherence. On Thursday, he made the statements while speaking at a Democratic congressional campaign committee reception. Pakistan's government and politicians have taken serious exception to Biden's statement and sought an apology from him.
Why does this story matter?
- Biden's remarks came as the US unveiled policy documents on its security strategy, emphasizing that the next 10 years will be pivotal in the competition with China—Pakistan's ally.
- According to reports, the document addresses a few shifting global dynamics in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
- Meanwhile, the US labeled Russia an imperialist nation for launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine to conquer it.
What exactly did President Biden say?
"What I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world, Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion," said a White House statement quoting President Biden at the election campaign reception. He made these remarks while talking about changing geopolitical situations and US foreign policy with regard to China and Russia. Biden concluded by commenting on Pakistan and its nuclear program.
Setback for Pak PM Shehbaz Sherif?
Some analysts say Biden's tough words can negatively impact the efforts of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to improve relations with the US. Earlier, Biden stated the US has a good chance to change the dynamic in the second part of the twenty-first century. These remarks came following the unveiling of the US National Security Strategy, which makes no mention of Pakistan.
Pakistan government calls US President's claims baseless
Minister for Energy in the Pakistan government Khurram Dastgir on Saturday rejected Biden's statement and termed it "baseless." "International agencies have — not once, but several times — verified Pakistan's atomic deterrence and said that our command and control system is secure. It has all the protection that is required," he said. Dastgir was addressing a press conference.
Former Pak premiers react sharply
Following Biden's remarks, two former Pakistan prime ministers, Imran Khan, and Nawaz Sharif reacted sharply and expressed confidence in the security and capability of nuclear power of the country. "Our nuclear program is in no way a threat to any country," Sharif said on Twitter. "Like all independent states, Pakistan reserves the right to protect its autonomy, sovereign statehood, and territorial integrity," he added.
Pakistan has most secure nuclear command and control system: Imran Khan
I have 2 Qs on this: 1. On what info has @POTUS reached this unwarranted conclusion on our nuclear capability when, having been PM, I know we have one of the most secure nuclear command control systems? 2. Unlike the US which has been involved in wars https://t.co/nkIrlekBxQ— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 15, 2022
Apology sought from President Biden
Pakistan's former human rights minister Shireen Mazari demanded an apology from Biden for his remarks. "A nuclear US is a threat to the world because you have no control over your nukes. B52 bomber takes off with six live nukes in 2007 and no one knows for hours," she tweeted. Mazari went on to call the US an "irresponsible superpower with nukes."