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Pak aid not against India: US

Obama Administration`s point man for S Asia has said that US is taking steps to ensure that Pak doesn`t use military aid against India.



Washington: Addressing one of India`s
major concerns, Obama Administration`s point man for South
Asia has said that US is taking appropriate steps to ensure
that the military aid given to Pakistan is not used against
India.

The issue was discussed during last week`s Strategic
Dialogue between India and the US; which was co-chaired by
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton.

"I think they (India) understand that we are trying to
build up Pakistan`s counter-insurgency capabilities and we are
seeking end use assurances to insure that the weapons that are
provided will not be used against India," Assistant Secretary
of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake said in
response to a question at a State Department Blog Forum.

This is for the first time US has come out in public
to state that it was taking steps to ensure that its military
aid to Pakistan would not be used against India.

This has been one of the major concerns of the Indian
leaders which were effectively conveyed to their American
counterparts in the last week`s strategic dialogue held at the
Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.

Blake said India and the US have a shared interest in
stabilisation of Pakistan; and New Delhi supports the US` Pak
policy.

"They believe we have a shared interest in helping to
stabilise Pakistan, and they`re certainly well aware that a
spiral down would not be in India`s interests," Blake said
during a conversation on a State Department blog Forum.

Participating in the blog forum, Teresita Schaffer,
director of South Asia Program at the CSIS - a Washington-
based think-tank, said US, India, and Pakistan share an
interest in seeing Pakistan as a state emerge more strongly
from this terrible time that it is going through.

"This will not mean that India and Pakistan agree on a
whole lot of stuff. But underneath it all, there is this very
important interest in common that we shouldn`t forget about,"
she said.

One of the blogger participating in the discussion,
Richard M in Bahrain said people in India get the feeling that
the US was quite happy to let Pakistani terrorists do whatever
they want in India and elsewhere as long as the terror was not
exported to the US.

Blake said since 9/11, and particularly since the
terrible attacks in 2008 in Mumbai, India and the US have
significantly ramped up their intelligence and law enforcement
cooperation precisely to prevent terrorist attacks.

"I think we - most of what we do, of course, is
confidential. We don`t talk about it too much, but I think it
has had quite an impact," he argued.

"I don`t think we`re ever going to be completely able
to stop these terrorist attacks, but if there`s any, sort of,
single story that`s been really important over the last two
years, it`s been this growing cooperation," he noted.

"The United States consistently emphasizes, as I have
today, that it is very important, in particular for Pakistan,
to take action against these groups that are targeting not
only India, but increasingly, the United States.

"So, I think there is a convergence in this area as
well, and we hope to do even more in this area, because I
think there`s a lot to be done," Blake said.

PTI

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