Pakistan holds key importance for US: Dan Burton


US Congressman Dan Burton has said that Pakistan holds key importance for US and instantly needs its help in the ongoing war on terror.
He stated this while addressing a discussion organized by the Pakistani-American League at the Capitol Hill on Thursday.
He said that Pakistan was a friend and ally of the US for a long time, ever since the time of first Afghan war. “There are some difference of opinion about why we should continue to support Pakistan and cutting-off aid to some countries but we should look at the larger picture,” he argued.
Congressman Burton, Republican from Indiana and a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, said that Pakistan was a nuclear power and the US had to deal with it in a different way. “There is potential of conflict in the region, if we pull out, because India is also a nuclear power. Balance of power in the region is also important,” he maintained.
“We have had strong differences with Pakistan, but there are reasons for which we need to support them to ensure stability in the region,” he said while calling himself a friend of Pakistan. “I may not agree with everything that Pakistan does, but we need to look at areas where we can cooperate,” he opined.
He cautioned against the policy to send forces to other countries without looking at the possible consequences. “Before US decides to enter any other country for changing the regime, it must look at the consequences in the future for the world,” he said while giving the example of Arab spring that led to the killing of US ambassador to Libya.
“Nobody knows how Arab spring is going to turn out. My worry is that we don’t have looked ahead where it will go,” Burton stated, adding that any action should first think about results and whether it will promote further radicalism. “There is a great deal of concern because of what is going on in Iran, Egypt, Libya and other parts of the world,” he said, while cautioning that the US couldn’t change the world according to its wishes overnight.
President of Pak-American League, Dr. Nisar Chaudhry, on the occasion, said that violence and killings should not happen because of senseless action of a few people. “There is a need to bridge the gap between different faith and races as well as ideologies,” he said, adding that freedom of expression was in US constitution, but time had changed and efforts should be undertaken to stop acts like the blasphemous movie in future.
Abdullah Wahab, Imam of Islamic Center in Washington, DC, in his remarks said that some people in the west had negative perspectives about Islam. “Islam teaches tolerance. Many people claim to be part of the religion, but they don’t understand religion,” he regretted. Several members of the Pakistani-American community also attended the discussion.