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Pakistan a failed state: US Congressman Frank Pallone

By Lalit K. Jha, IANS,

Fords (New Jersey) : Senior US Congressman Frank Pallone has declared that Pakistan is a “failed state” as Islamabad does not have control over its own territories and its land is being used by terrorists to launch attack against other nations, including the US and India.

“Pakistan is essentially a failed state. I do not believe the central government controls most of the territory of the country,” the Democratic lawmaker from New Jersey said here Sunday at a condolence meeting for the Mumbai terror attack victims.

“It is obvious that in the area near Afghanistan, which is used by Al Qaeda and the Taliban as a way to move into Afghanistan and oppose American forces there, there is no control. It is obvious that even though they have outlawed the organisations that were trying to sever Kashmir from India, they continue (to exist). So the government really has no control,” he said.

“The Pakistani government has to step up. It has to play a role in these unorganised territories and make sure that they are not being used to launch another attack by Al Qaeda or the Taliban. If not, then the US has to go there itself,” he added.

Condemning the Mumbai carnage, Pallone said the terrorists involved in the attack tried to give the impression that they were local Indian Muslims.

“The fact was that they were not. They were not the Muslims in India. They were those Muslims who were trained in Pakistan and came from Pakistan,” he said.

Terrorists who India says came from Pakistan struck at several places in Mumbai on the night of Nov 26, eventually seizing two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre. The 60-hour nightmare left 172 people dead and 248 injured.

However, Pallone opposed any attack on Pakistan by India at this point of time. This, he said, would be a big mistake because the terrorists want to create conflict and tension in the region.

“So I think, right now, all the governments are trying (to prevent this). In my opinion, let this not be an excuse for another war between India and Pakistan,” he said.

Pallone said the upcoming Barack Obama administration needs to put a lot of pressure on Pakistan and make it clear that if it wants to have any kind of relationship or receive assistance from the US, there have to be strings attached.

“The US has sent both the secretary of state as well as military leaders to both India and Pakistan. I know that the new Obama administration and the new secretary of state Hillary Clinton want to do whatever they can to shore up India’s security,” he said.