| Richard Haas
New Delhi, Oct. 25: Amid concern among opinion-makers in the US that Pakistan is fast turning into “the most dangerous place in the world”, US state department’s policy planning chief Richard Haas is arriving here on Sunday to hold talks with the Indian leadership.
Haas, an important member of the Bush Administration and former head of the Brookings Institute — one of the most prestigious think-tanks in America — has been playing a key role in formulating US policy on security and strategic affairs.
His interaction with the Indian leaders comes in the backdrop of terrorist strikes in different parts of the world, from Bali to Moscow.
Haas is likely to meet foreign minister Yashwant Sinha, national security adviser Brajesh Mishra, foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal and other senior officials in South Block.
Pakistan’s alleged role in passing on nuclear technology to North Korea has led several commentators in the US media to question the Pervez Musharraf regime’s seriousness in dealing with the al Qaida and whether the Bush Administration has the ability to deal with Pakistan.
“Pakistan’s role as a clandestine supplier shatters the Bush administration’s efforts to paint that country as a flawed but well-meaning member of the coalition against terror. Pakistan today is the most dangerous place on earth. In large part because the administration does not understand the forces it is dealing with there and has no policy to contain them,” Jim Hoagland, a commentator wrote in Washington Post yesterday.
Coming down heavily on the US administration for its inability to pull up Pakistan, the report said: “Official Washington will not even tell the truth to or about Musharraf, much less hold him accountable for his lies and subterfuge.”
Referring to Pakistan’s denial of the allegations that it had passed on nuclear technology to North Korea and was encouraging cross-border-terrorism in Kashmir, Hoagland said: “The past provides no reason to hope that Musharraf is telling the truth about not helping North Korea now either.”
The Washington Post report and last week’s expose in New York Times about clandestine co-operation between Pakistan and North Korea on nuclear and missile technology, in violation of international rules, support what India has been saying for many years.
Atal attack on Pak
Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee today criticised the international community for not declaring Pakistan a terrorist state and said the fight against terrorism would be long-drawn, adds PTI.
“There is a difference between terrorism and terrorist state. It is regrettable that the international community is yet to differentiate between the two when Pakistan is emerging as a terrorist state,” he said at the NDA rally here.
Pakistan reacted sharply to the statement. “Obviously both leaders (Vajpayee and deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani) are living in a world of make-believe and are not in touch with reality,” foreign ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan said.