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'Pakistan powder keg of the world'

Nuclear powered Pakistan, which is home to top Al-Qaeda leaders and a safe haven for terrorists, is "powder keg" of the world that can blow up any moment now, investigative American journalist Bob Wooward has said.

world Updated: Oct 07, 2010 09:02 IST

Nuclear powered Pakistan, which is home to top Al-Qaeda leaders and a safe haven for terrorists, is "powder keg" of the world that can blow up any moment now, investigative American journalist Bob Wooward has said.

US President Barack Obama would have to take some tough decisions in the way America handles Pakistan, he said.

"I don't want to overdramatise it, I don't want to under-dramatise it, that Pakistan could blow up. And we remember, they have 100 nuclear weapons," Woodward, author of the latest book "Obama's War", told the Charlie Rose show.

"The ghost in the machine is Pakistan. What is Pakistan? You know what Pakistan is? It's the powder keg of south Asia. In fact, it's the powder keg of the world.

If you remember studying World War I in high school or college, they called it the Balkans 'the powder keg', the thing that could blow up. Well, it did, and we had World War I," he said.

"Pakistan is vulnerable in so many ways. They have safe havens for al Qaeda, for the Taliban. It's an unstable government. They have a history of military coups. We've been looking, and throughout the theme in this book is Obama and his team trying to find a way to leverage or coerce Pakistan to stomp out those safe havens," he said.

>Woodward said Obama, during meetings with him as part of his writing the book, said that safe havens are no longer acceptable by the United States.