Senate of Pakistan

Change expected after US presidential election

Change expected after US presidential election
November 14, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Nov 13: The re-election of President Obama is a significant development and indicates the changing demographic situation in the US, said Senator Mushahid Hussain, at a roundtable meeting held under the banner ‘Pakistan and the changing world scenario.’ The roundtable was organised by Institute of Regional Studies.

“Besides, President Obama is possibly the only US president to get elected despite aggressive opposition from the prime minister of Israel,” he added.

He said the US should now concentrate on an effective exit plan and rectify its past mistakes.

“Among the major mistakes of the US are its policy in Afghanistan, aggression against Iran, taking China as a threat and trying to make the Afghan settlement without keeping Pakistan in the picture,” he added.

Further highlighting the dynamics of the US elections he said: “Many of us do not know but the establishment in the US is very strong and acts like a powerful lobby,” adding, “I feel now Obama should feel more free and take bold decisions based on ground realities and ignore the powerful establishment.”

He referred to the strained Pak-US relations in 2011 and said that it was mainly due to the incorrect decisions of the CIA and the US security establishment. The worst part of the strained relations was the credibility issue and the US policy makers had been feeding different things at different platforms.

“They were ready to talk with the Taliban and at the same time wanted us to take on North Waziristan,” he said.

He also said that after the Salala incident, power over strategic matters shifted towards the parliament from the sole domain of the army.

“Parliament and all the relevant quarters decided not to open Nato supply routes, until the US apologise and it happened,” Mushahid added.

The Senator expressed confidence that President Obama would concentrate on rebuilding the American economy, instead of following the Bush policy of attacking the Muslim world.

Adding that it was time for the US to consolidate, as the power base was shifting from the West towards the East. The shift of power to the fifth generation of government in China, this month, would add towards the strengthening of Asia.

Speaking over the regional context he said that a strategic mistake made by India in the recent past was to quit the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

“Not only that the energy support expected from the pipeline has been lost but the nuclear deal between US and India has fallen short of expectations,” he said.
However, he feared that the establishment of regional blocks in Asia like the recent defence cooperation agreement between India, US and Japan could trigger a new wave of cold war in Asia.

“This should be avoided if we have to progress,” he emphasised.


Published in DAWN
November 14, 2012


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