Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has warned Pakistan saying his administration will strike at Al Qaeda targets there if Washington gets “actionable intelligence” on the presence of terror groups.
“... What I’ve said is that if we had actionable intelligence against high-value Al Qaeda targets and the Pakistani government was unwilling to go after those targets, then we should,” Obama, currently on a tour to Iraq, said.
“Now, my hope is that it doesn’t come to that. Pakistani government would recognise that if we had Osama bin Laden in our sights, that we should fire or capture...” the 47-year-old Senator from Illinois, said in an interview to CBS News which was broadcast on its Face The Nation programme.
Obama’s remark came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also asked Pakistan government to do more to stabilise the region. “It’s very clear that more has to be done to stabilise the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. More has to be done,” Rice said on the Late Edition of CNN aired on Sunday.
Obama said: “I think actually this is current doctrine. There was some dispute when I said this last August. Both the administration and some of my opponents suggested, well, you know, you shouldn’t go around saying that. But I don’t think there’s any doubt that it should be our policy and will continue to be our policy... I don’t think there is going to be a change there.”
“The US has to take a regional approach to the problem. Just as we can’t be myopic and focus only on Iraq, we also can’t think that we can solve the security problems here in Afghanistan without engaging the Pakistani government,” he said.