Islamabad, Jan.23 (ANI): In an apparent bid to pacify the Pakistani leadership, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said that his statement that any more Mumbai type attacks could probably ignite a war between India and Pakistan was 'misunderstood'.
Addressing a gathering at the National Defence University here, Gates said the US never encouraged India to attack Pakistan.
"All that I said was that that any repeat of the 2008 Mumbai attacks could have the potential of igniting a war between the two South Asian neighbours," Gates clarified.
"It is not unreasonable to assume that Indian patience will be limited were there to be further attacks," Gates had said during his recent New Delhi visit.
Gates has been receiving flak from several Pakistani law makers, who said that such statements by the top US official were aimed at encouraging India to attack Pakistan, while sidelining Islamabad and its efforts in the 'war on terror'.
During his speech, Gates while acknowledging the reasons for scepticism and tainted perceptions of the United States in Pakistan, rejected the notion that the US wanted to establish its military presence in the country.
"The United States does not covet a single inch of Pakistani soil. We seek no military bases here and we have no desire to control Pakistan's nuclear weapons."
The Dawn quoted Gates, as saying. (ANI)