Minister slams Obama warning

August 03, 2007


ISLAMABAD, Aug 2: Pakistan accused Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of “sheer ignorance” on Thursday for threatening to launch US military strikes against Al Qaeda on Pakistani soil.

Mr Obama warned on Wednesday that if he is elected president, he would order US forces to hit extremist targets on Pakistan’s frontier with Afghanistan if President Gen Pervez Musharraf failed to act.

“Such statements are being made out of sheer ignorance,” Minister of State for Information Tariq Azeem said. “They are not fully apprised about the ground realities and not aware of the efforts by Pakistan.”

“We have said before that we will not allow anyone to infringe our sovereignty,” Mr Azeem said.

“If there is any actionable intelligence they should tell us and only our forces will take action on it and they are quite capable of it.” The minister suggested that Mr Obama’s comments were prompted by Washington’s inability to curb the ongoing Taliban insurgency in neighbouring Afghanistan.

“This seems to be a reaction to their own failure in Afghanistan to control the US casualties and instead of addressing the situation there, they are finding scapegoats and damaging their own cause,” Mr Azeem added.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam on Wednesday warned against “point-scoring” by US presidential candidates on vital security issues.—AFP