Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has assured Pakistani President Asif Al Zardari of his support for democracy in the frontline nation during a telephone call on Friday, Pakistan’s official state agency said.
Obama’s conversation was part of a round of phone calls he made to world leaders including Britain, Israel, Japan, Australia, France and Germany, mainly to thank them for their messages of congratulation following his victory.
Pakistan’s The News in a report from Washington said Obama conveyed his full support to help Pakistan overcome its financial difficulties as also face down the threat from militants.
He said he was keen for better ties between the two allies in the war against militancy and to settle differences arising from U.S. missile strikes inside Pakistan, the newspaper said.
It’s early days yet, but people are already trying to work out what any Israeli attack on Iran would mean for Pakistan. (The idea that Israel might attack Iran to damage or destroy its nuclear programme gained currency this week when former U.S. ambassador John Bolton predicted in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that it would do so after the November U.S. presidential election but before the next president is sworn in.)
Pakistan defence analyst Ikram Sehgal paints an alarming, and perhaps deliberately alarmist, picture in The News of what this could mean for Pakistan: ”Could Israeli or (US) planners afford the risk of leaving a Muslim nuclear state with the means of missile delivery intact if there is war with Iran? Can they take this calculated risk in the face of a possible Pakistani nuclear reaction because of military action on a fellow Muslim nation and neighbour…?” he writes. ”Should one not be apprehensive that India as the ‘newly U.S. appointed policeman of the region’ takes the opportunity … for launching all-out Indian military offensive….?”