Pakistan’s foreign affairs ministry summoned the United States ambassador on Saturday to convey its “disappointment and worry” over President Joe Biden’s characterization of Pakistan as “one of the most dangerous nations” and his questioning its nuclear weapons safety standards.
The President made the statement while discussing Chinese President Xi Jinping at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event in Los Angeles.
Washington’s relations with Pakistan have deteriorated since the U.S. completed its two-decade war in Afghanistan last year.
Pakistan offered vital logistical access, but U.S. officials think Islamabad’s formidable military and intelligence system also supported the Taliban, who retook power after international soldiers withdrew.
According to a transcript given by the White House, Biden stated the following during the event: Xi (China’s current leader) is a man who knows what he wants but has a huge number of problems. Biden questioned the crowd: How do we approach this? With Russia’s current situation in mind, how should we approach this? Biden then mentioned Pakistan, saying he believes Pakistan to be one of the most hazardous countries in the world. Atomic weapons that are devoid of cohesiveness.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan stated that his nation takes nuclear safety measures “very seriously.”
Sharif tweeted on Saturday that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state, and we are happy that our nuclear assets have the highest safeguards under IAEA regulations.
Pakistan’s Acting Foreign Secretary Jauhar Saleem summoned U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome and denounced the President’s “unwarranted statements” by stating that they “were not grounded in truth or facts.” Blome was summoned hours after the transcript was released to discuss Saleem’s disappointment with Biden.
Saleem said he was surprised by President Biden’s remarks. He feels this is precisely the type of misunderstanding that results from a lack of interaction.
A statement from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated It was made obvious that Pakistan was a responsible nuclear state, and its flawless stewardship of the nuclear program and adherence to global norms and international best practices were fully recognized, including by the IAEA.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that we should give them the chance to clarify their views. In my opinion, this should not have a detrimental influence on ties between Pakistan and the United States.”
The United States is apprehensive of Pakistan’s tight relationship with China as Beijing pursues a $54bn (£48bn) “economic corridor” to construct infrastructure and provide Beijing with access to the Indian Ocean.
Washington has frequently stated that the majority of the advantages will accrue to China, leaving Pakistan with unmanageable debt. Pakistan has frequently disregarded the warnings of the United States, which views China as its most formidable global adversary.
Pakistan abstained from this week’s United Nations General Assembly vote condemning Russia’s annexation of areas of Ukraine, despite a concerted diplomatic effort by the United States for a stronger condemnation of Moscow.
In 1998, Pakistan successfully conducted its first nuclear test.