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'Pak with nukes a complex problem'

world Updated: Jan 14, 2009 23:30 IST
V Krishna & Agencies

It was smooth sailing for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for secretary of state, at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

The new chairman of the committee, John Kerry, who was a contender for the job, set the tone in his opening remarks, describing Clinton as “a nominee who is extraordinarily capable and smart, an individual with the global stature and influence to help shape events.”

Clinton, in her speech, said Pakistan was a complex issue due to its nuclear capability and indicated that American aid to that country will be linked to its commitment to fight terrorism.

The former US First Lady also said the Mumbai terror attack has emerged as a major challenge for American diplomacy.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for her confirmation hearing during when she had a tour of global hotspots, Clinton said Pakistan was one of the main challenges being faced by the incoming Obama Administration.

Earlier, Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the committee, said of Hillary: “President-elect Obama has boldly chosen the epitome of a big leaguer.” “Her presence at the helm of the State Department could open unique opportunities for diplomacy.”

Clinton returned the compliments and promised a more consultative approach from the incoming administration. “The president-elect and I believe that we must return to the time honoured principle of bipartisanship in our foreign policy,” she said.

America, Clinton said, cannot solve the most pressing problems on its own, and the world cannot solve them without America. “The best way to advance America’s interests in reducing global threats and seizing global opportunities is to design and implement global solutions....

“We must use what has been called smart power, the full range of tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural — picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy.”

Clinton, who has a reputation for exhaustive preparation, showed mastery of detail during the five-hour hearing. She is expected to easily win confirmation.