"The toughest foreign-policy issue our next president will face is Pakistan, the most dangerous country in the world," claimed Bruce Riedel, currently senior Fellow, Foreign Policy at Brookings Institution who has advised last four presidents on South Asia and Middle East.
"The battle for the soul of this critical nation is underway; we need to hear at Monday's debate how President Obama and Governor Romney intend to get the right outcome in Pakistan," Riedel wrote in the daily Beast.
Referring to the shooting of Pakistan education activist Malala Yousufzai, Riedel wrote, "Her story epitomises her country’s story. It is a battlefield between extremists, often linked to al Qaeda, and those who want a progressive and modern Pakistan. The sixth-largest country in the world—and soon to be the world’s largest Muslim country—it already has the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal on the planet. And it is home to al Qaeda’s leadership.
"It is the epicentre of the global jihad. From 9/11 to the 2008 attack on Mumbai, Al Qaeda and its allies like Lashkar-e-Taiba have plotted their schemes in Karachi, Lahore, and Abbottabad."
Obama and Romney need to tell audiences on Monday night how they will keep the pressure on the terrorists in Pakistan when the US brings its troops home from Afghanistan in 2014 and how will the US continue to undertake the necessary counter-terror missions from Afghan bases, Riedel wrote.