Washington: Pakistan faces a major threat of
turning into a failed nation state, a leading Republican presidential candidate has said, advocating that the US shore up its relationships in the region, particularly with India,
to meet the potential "turmoil".
Republican candidate Jon Huntsman said a greater
relationship with India, a country which shares the democratic
values of the US, would give Washington "a hedge" in the
"As you look the world over, I would have to say that
Pakistan is a candidate for possible failed nation-state
status, probably second only to North Korea," Huntsman said
participating in a "Lincoln-Douglas" presidential debate in
"If that were to happen, the turmoil in South Asia would
be imponderable at this point. And would our interests be at stake? Of course they would be," the former Utah Governor noted.
Contending that Pakistan had become "a training ground
for terrorism," Huntsman said the US not only needs to work on
this but also needs to tie up aid to outcomes and formulate
whether its aid support to the country be channelised through
"And it means we`re going to have to shore up some of the
relationships in the region. I think the relationship with
India is a primary -- a prime example of a relationship that
is waiting to broaden and expand its economic, military
intelligence links with the United States.
"It gives us another platform, another set of eyes and
ears from which we can see Pakistan. It gives us a little bit
of a hedge in the region, which I think is good," he said.
Huntsman said stronger ties with India allow the US to
"recognise and to compliment" a state that shares many of its
values being the largest democracy with a billion people.
"Is it lively and colourful during election time in
India? Absolutely, it is. They share our values, and I think
that`s an important thing for us to recognise," said Huntsman,
who has an adopted daughter from India.
"And as the tumult continues to play out, and the level
of uncertainty, in Pakistan and indeed with Afghanistan, and
as the various players begins to position themselves to fill
what likely will be a void -- Russia will want to play some
role; Pakistan will follow India, who will go in and probably
support the Northern Alliance. The Chinese will look and say
-- wonder what on earth is going on," he said.