Islamabad: Pakistan has assured the US
administration that American military hardware provided to it
will be used solely for defensive purposes, a top US official
David Sedney, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defence for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, made the
remarks during an interaction with the Pakistani media.
He was responding to a question on whether the US had
sought an assurance from Pakistan that American military
hardware would not be used against India.
Sedney, who is visiting Pakistan with a high-level
delegation for a meeting of a bilateral defence working group,
did not specify the level at which the assurance had been
given by Pakistan.
In recent months, the US has provided Pakistan with a
wide array of weapons and hardware, including F-16 combat
jets, utility helicopters, P3C Orion maritime surveillance
aircraft and a frigate, as part of the ongoing military
cooperation between the two countries.
India has repeatedly expressed concerns that the
American weapon systems and hardware can be used against it by
Sedney said Pakistan faced a range of threats and
extremism is one of them.
He indicated that the hardware provided by the US was
meant to help Pakistan`s fight against terrorism and
The American official acknowledged that Washington and
Islamabad had differences on the threat perceptions
confronting Pakistan but did not give details.
Pakistan had given a list of its threat perceptions
and the US had shared its views in this regard, he said.
The two countries are working to identify the common
or overlapping areas so that they can cooperate in these
fields, Sedney said.
Though the US and Pakistan have made progress in
bridging the trust deficit between their militaries, it still
exists, Sedney said.
"There is still a big trust deficit (and) we have to
go a long way," he added.
More meetings of defence officials of the two
countries will be held in July and August.
The "next step" in these meetings would be the
provision of more equipment requested by Pakistan, Sedney
On the other hand, the US had told Pakistan of its
priorities, including its desire to win the wars it is
currently engaged in, he said.
The US needs Pakistan’s cooperation in this regard,
especially for the campaign in Afghanistan, he said.
The US also wants to prepare its forces for potential
future threats and the relationship with Pakistan is
important, Sedney said.
"In the long-term, we see Pakistan playing an
important role in regional security, he said.
The purpose of the defence-level engagement with
Pakistan is to lay the basis for a long-term working
relationship between the two countries, Sedney said.