"India should not worry about U.S. assistance to Pakistan", says Robert Blake

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Washington, July 1(ANI): The United States on Tuesday rejected India's concern over American assistance to Pakistan, said that the Indians should not worry about Washington's support for Islamabad, as the assistance is to overcome Pakistan's economic and militancy challenges.

Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, rejected the concern, which asserted that Pakistan might divert U.S. aid to build up its forces against India.

"I do not think India needs to be concerned about U.S. assistance to Pakistan. As you know, the new focus in terms of our relationship with Pakistan is to dramatically increase economic assistance to help that country overcome its economic challenges and to extend the writ of the government to other parts of Pakistan," The News quoted Blake, as saying.

"All of those things should be very much in India's interest as well. I think the people of India should support and agree with what we are trying to do," he added.

Blake highlighted that Pakistan is focused on dealing with the extremist problems, and the Pakistan government is taking actions, which have been in interest of the country.

"We think this represents a very important development and we should give the Government of Pakistan encouragement to continue this process of confronting the extremists inside Pakistan," Blake said.

Blake also stated that Washington intends to have continuous support from the Indian government.

"Afghanistan and Pakistan are strategic priorities, but I do not want to imply that comes at the expense of India. India will continue to be also a strategic priority for the United States," Blake said. (ANI)

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