Former US Senator Larry Pressler says that both India and the US need to conduct pre-emptive strikes to destroy Pakistan's nuclear assets.
Pressler was speaking in Mumbai, India, at the launching of his new book - "Neighbors in Arms: An American Senator's Quest for Disarmament in a Nuclear Sub-Continent".
Pressler, 75, authored the famous Pressler Amendment, which banned most economic and military assistance to Pakistan unless the President certified on an annual basis that "Pakistan does not possess a nuclear-explosive device and that the proposed United States assistance program will reduce significantly the risk that Pakistan will possess a nuclear-explosive device."
Interestingly, President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and 1988 and President George Bush in 1989 continued to certify that Pakistan does not have a nuclear weapon, a condition of continuing aid to Pakistan under the law. These certifications were thought to be important because Pakistan was a key base for the CIA-backed Afghan mujaheddin, and cutting off aid to Pakistan might curtail CIA support for the anti-Soviet forces.
The Times of India said as the delivery of close to 30 F-16 aircraft to Islamabad was barred, Pressler, then head of the Senate's arms control subcommittee, became something of a hero in India and, in his own words, "a devil in Pakistan."
His new book, Neighbors in Arms, engagingly tells the story of the amendment and of the US foreign policy towards Pakistan and casts a severe spotlight on the culture of lobbying in Washington and the grip of the military-industrial state ("the Octopus") inside the U.S.
"US must declare Pakistan a terrorist state, cut off all aid and must not treat India and Pakistan as equals. India is a democracy, Pakistan isn't. And Pakistan and especially the ISI have lied to us for decades," he said.
Pressler was of the view that Donald Trump may turn out to be the best American president yet for India as he had recently put Pakistan on notice for 'harboring' terrorists.
Meanwhile, a Chinese daily has slammed India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj for her strong criticism of Pakistan for harboring terrorists, saying it is "politically imbecilic and unsophisticated" to think that Islamabad exports terrorism.
The editorial in Global Times said Sushma Swaraj's speech at the UN reflected India's arrogance and "bigotry" towards Pakistan.
Sushma in her address last week at the UN General Assembly accused Pakistan for what she called sheltering terrorists.
"Why is it that today India is a recognized IT superpower in the world and Pakistan is recognized only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror?" Sushma had said.
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