WASHINGTON: Suggesting that both India and the US conduct pre-emptive strikes inside Pakistan to destroy its nuclear sites, former US senator Larry Pressler says that Donald Trump may turn out to be the best American president yet for India as “he had recently put Pakistan on notice for harbouring terrorists”.
A three-term senator and twice elected as a member of the House of Representatives, Pressler authored the famous Pressler Amendment, which in 1990, blocked US military aid to Pakistan when the then US president George W Bush could not certify whether Pakistan was developing nukes or not.
In an interview with Times of India, Pressler said that Trump would have to get around the Pentagon, which always encouraged Pakistan.
Such encouragement emboldened Pakistan to call India “the mother of terrorism” and “predator” at the UN General Assembly session on Sunday, he added. Trump’s description of the Pentagon as “a swamp” was a good sign, he noted, hoping the US president would drain it soon, as he’d promised.
As the delivery of close to 30 F-16 aircraft to Islamabad was barred, Pressler, then a Republican and head of the Senate’s arms control subcommittee, became something of a hero in India and, in his own words, “a devil in Pakistan.”
His new book, Neighbours in Arms, engagingly tells the story of the amendment and of the US foreign policy that enabled Pakistan to develop nuclear weapons and casts a severe spotlight on the culture of lobbying in Washington and the grip of the military-industrial state (“the Octopus”) inside the US.
“US must declare Pakistan a terrorist state, cut off all aid and must not treat India and Pakistan as equals. India is a democracy, Pakistan isn’t. And Pakistan has lied to us for decades,” he said.
Pressler also said that that it was good the Modi government was tough with Pakistan.