`Indo-Pak relations critical for stability of the region`

Last Updated: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 09:21

Washington: Acknowledging that India is a
big player in the region, a top US military leader has said
that the relationship between India and Pakistan is critical
for the stability in the region.

"India is a big player in that region as well,"
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
said in response to a question at House Committee on Foreign
Affairs; which held a hearing on Afghanistan.

"I think all of us - international players, particular
regional players - have to take steps to stabilize. The
relationship between Pakistan and India is critical.

Leadership there must, I think, step forward to stabilize that
border more than anything else. I think that would be a great
step forward in stabilizing the region," Mullen said.

Mullen was responding to a question from Democrat
Congressman Donald Payne.

"Is there any way we can impress Pakistan that India
is not their biggest enemy, about Kashmir, and have Pakistan
concentrate more on Pakistan and stop worrying about India and
some India-Pakistan conflict?" Payne asked.

In answer to another question from Congressman Bill
Delahunt, the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said the
Obama Administration did consult India on its new Af-Pak
policy.

"Yes" Clinton said, when Delahunt asked: "Secretary
Clinton, if you have time, have we consulted with the Indians
in terms of their relationship with Pakistan in reducing the
concern that the Pakistanis have relative to India?"

Meanwhile in an interview to MSNBC, Senator Allen Specter,
argued the US should work to reduce the tension between India
and Pakistan.

"I would like to have seen him (Obama) say and do that
we`re going to work hard to relieve the tension between India
and Pakistan. Pakistan has a lot of troops on the border.

India is not going to attack Pakistan. But if that situation
could be defused, then Pakistan could help a lot with the
Taliban," Specter said.

"I do not want to see the United States men and women
over there fighting the Taliban. And al Qaeda can organize
someplace else. I`d like to see him get more out of Pakistan
and not try to intervene in what is essentially a civil war
between the Taliban and the Karzai government in Pakistan," he
said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 09:21

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