The United States has expressed its confidence in Pakistan’s ability to control its nuclear assets after remarks by President Joe Biden cast doubt on the safety of Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal.
“The U.S. has always viewed a secure and prosperous Pakistan as critical to U.S. interests. And more broadly, the U.S. values our longstanding cooperation with Pakistan. We enjoy a strong partnership,” he said.
Patel’s remarks appeared to be a reversal of Biden’s offhand comments about Pakistan last week, in which he referred to Pakistan as “one of the most dangerous nations in the world” due to its nuclear arsenal.
Biden’s speech centered on the geopolitical situation on a global scale. The president also mentioned that the United States has “enormous opportunities” to change the dynamic in the second quarter of the 21st century.
In response, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that his nation adheres to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) safety measures “with the utmost seriousness” and will “let no one have any doubts.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken later justified Washington’s decision by saying that it was for the maintenance of Pakistan’s existing fleet and to help the country fight terrorism.
“Pakistan’s program bolsters its capability to deal with terrorist threats emanating from Pakistan or from the region. It’s in no one’s interest that those threats be able to go forward with impunity, and so this capability that Pakistan has had can benefit all of us in dealing with terrorism,” he said at a press briefing on Sept. 27.