United States President Joe Biden said Pakistan may be “one of the most dangerous nations in the world” as the country has “nuclear weapons without any cohesion”, it emerged on Saturday.
He made the remarks while addressing a Democratic congressional campaign committee reception on Thursday.
A transcript of the address, published on the White House’s website, quoted Biden as saying: “… And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion.”
The US president’s remarks were made in the context of the changing geopolitical situation globally.
He said the world was changing rapidly and countries were rethinking their alliances. “And the truth of the matter is — I genuinely believe this — that the world is looking to us. Not a joke. Even our enemies are looking to us to figure out how we figure this out, what we do.”
There was a lot at stake, Biden said, emphasizing that the US had the capacity to lead the world to a place it had never been before.
“Did any of you ever think you’d have a Russian leader, since the Cuban Missile Crisis, threatening the use of tactical nuclear weapons that would — could only kill three, four thousand people and be limited to make a point?
“Did anybody think we’d be in a situation where China is trying to figure out its role relative to Russia and relative to India and relative to Pakistan?”
Talking about his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the US president termed him as a man who knew what he wanted but had an “enormous” array of problems.
“How do we handle that? How do we handle that relative to what’s going on in Russia? And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion,” Biden said.
Earlier this week, it emerged that Pakistan, once a key US ally, was not even mentioned in the US National Security Strategy 2022, which identified China as “America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge”.
The 48-page document does mention terrorism and other geo-strategic threats in the South and Central Asian region, but unlike in the recent past, it does not name Pakistan as an ally needed to tackle those threats. Pakistan was also absent from the 2021 strategy paper.
In Washington, the omission is seen as reflecting a mutual desire to build a separate US relationship with Pakistan. Islamabad has long complained that the United States views Pakistan only as a tool to counter threats from Afghanistan and other nations.