Indian home minister P Chidambaram has drawn a scary picture of Pakistan’s predicament in his opening address in front of a visiting US delegation.
The minister called the Afghanistan-Pakistan complex the “global epicenter of terrorism” and drew a bleak picture of where India’s immediate Western neighbour is headed, as a country.
“Today, different terrorist groups, operating from the safe havens in Pakistan, are becoming increasingly fused; the society in Pakistan has become increasingly radicalized; its economy has weakened; and, the state structure in Pakistan has become fragile.
“Today, Pakistan itself faces a major threat from the same forces. Its people as well as its state institutions are under attack,” he said at the inauguration of the India-US Homeland Security Dialogue.
Chidambaram’s comments are seen as an echo of the widespread concern among Indian leaders about the prospect of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of Islamist terrorists — many of whom have the US and India as their number one enemy. The nuclear weapons, that can reduce Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi into ashes in a matter of minutes after the ‘red button’ is pressed in Islamabad, are primarily directed towards India.
Terrorists had recently blasted two US supplier aircrafts in a high-security Naval base, raising concerns over how secure Pakistan’s weapons are.
Chidambaram, however, pointed out that India will try its best to bring Pakistan to a state of prosperity and peace.
“Given the complexity of our region, our Government has a comprehensive neighbourhood strategy that is based on political engagement, especially with Pakistan; support for political stability; assistance for economic development; and, improved connectivity and market access for our neighbours to the Indian economy. A stable, peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood is vital for the security of the people of India,” he said.