Clinton: Pakistan 'mortal threat' to world

April 22, 2009 at 1:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 22 (UPI) -- Nuclear-armed Pakistan is becoming a "mortal threat" to the world, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday.

"Pakistan poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world," Clinton said. "And I want to take this occasion ... state unequivocally that not only do the Pakistani government officials, but the Pakistani people and the Pakistani diaspora ... need to speak out forcefully against a policy that is ceding more and more territory to the insurgents ... ."

Taliban militants Tuesday took over the northwestern Pakistan district of Buner, just 60 miles from the capital of Islamabad. Militants were patrolling its streets with no signs of government law enforcement personnel, Pakistan's English-language newspaper Dawn reported. The move came after the Taliban last week imposed Shariah, or strict Islamic law, in the neighboring Swat Valley as part of a peace agreement with the government.

"(We) cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by the continuing advances now within hours of Islamabad that are being made by a loosely confederated group of terrorists and others who are seeking the overthrow of the Pakistani state," Clinton said.

"I don't hear that kind of outrage or concern coming from enough people that would reverberate back within the highest echelons of the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan," Clinton said.

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