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`Pak considers India as threat but US differs`

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said "the problem" lies with Islamabad`s perception of being "threatened by India".



Washington: Noting that its relationship with
Pakistan was "complex", US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said
"the problem" lies with Islamabad`s perception of being
"threatened by India".

"It is a complex relationship. It always has been and I
suspect it always will be," Panetta told CBC TV in an
interview.

"In some ways we share a common concern and a common
threat. Terrorism is as much a threat to Pakistan and the
people of Pakistan as it is to us and to the people of
Afghanistan," he said.

At the same time, Panetta noted that the two countries
differ on the threat perception.

He said while they "have common cause", "the problem" is
that Pakistan view their position as "threatened by India".
"As a result of that, sometimes we get very mixed
messages from Pakistan as to just exactly where they`re going
to be," he said.

On the issue of keeping the raid on Osama bin Laden`s
safehouse in Abbottabad a secret, the Pentagon chief said he
did not provide information to Pakistan because he feared this
could be leaked by them and would not be able to accomplish
their mission.

"The concern we had is that...we had provided
intelligence to them with regards to other areas and
unfortunately, for one way or another, it got leaked to the
individuals we were trying to go after," Panetta said.

"So as a result of that we were concerned that if we
were going to perform a sensitive mission like this, we had to
do it on our own," he underlined.

Reiterating that he has not come across anything so far
which reflects a direct link between the top Pakistani
leadership and the safe hideout of bin Laden, Panetta
expressed concern how a compound like this would not be known
to them (Pakistani establishment).

He said though he had not found direct link or "evidence
that involved a direct connection to the Pakistanis", it was a
matter of "concern" how bin Laden`s compound could come up in
an area "where there were military establishments", and
military operating and not have them know.

"These situations sometimes, you know, the leadership
within Pakistan (sic) is obviously not aware of certain things
and yet people lower down in the military establishment find
it very well, they`ve been aware of it. But bottom line is
that we have not had evidence that provides that direct link,
he noted.

Pakistan is in the final stages of reviewing its ties
with the US after the low following a NATO air strike that
killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

PTI

From Zee News

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