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US would face turmoil if Pak turns a failed state

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".

world Updated: Dec 13, 2011 11:10 IST

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 region.

"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 New Hampshire.

"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 non-governmental groups.

"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.