ISLAMABAD (HPD) — Pakistan’s government on Saturday rejected comments by U.S. President Joe Biden calling the South Asian country “one of the most dangerous nations in the world.”
Biden made his remarks Thursday during an informal fundraising dinner sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at a private residence in Los Angeles. Speaking about China and its leader Xi Jinping, the US president pondered the role of the United States in relation to Beijing as he tries to confront the Chinese government’s positions on Russia, India and Pakistan.
“How do we deal with that?” he asked, according to a transcript on the White House website. “How do we deal with that in relation to what is happening in Russia? And with what I think is probably one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion”.
Pakistan’s current prime minister and two former prime ministers rejected the comments as unfounded, and the acting foreign minister summoned the US ambassador on Saturday to demand an explanation for Biden’s remarks.
“Pakistan’s disappointment and concern were raised with the US envoy over the unwarranted comments, which were not based on reality or fact,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said earlier in Karachi that he believed this was the kind of misunderstanding that is created by a lack of engagement, apparently referring to the government of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his perceived lack of engagement in international diplomacy. .
“Although Pakistan has nuclear resources, we know how to keep them safe and secure,” Zardari stressed.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shakhbaz Sharif rejected Biden’s comments in a statement, saying they were inaccurate and misleading. He stated that, over the years, Pakistan has proven to be a responsible nuclear state and that its nuclear program is managed with a technically sound command and control system. He pointed to Pakistan’s commitment to global standards, including those of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency.