Indo-Pak rivalry affecting US efforts towards regional stability adversely: Mullen

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Washington, Feb.3 (ANI): Underlining the importance of resolving long pending issues between India and Pakistan, US Joint Chiefs Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen has said it is necessary to end the longstanding mistrust between the two neighbours in order to stabilise the region.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mullen said Indo-Pak animosity was affecting America's efforts in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"South Asian security tensions and political dynamics significantly impact our objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The longstanding animosity and mistrust between Pakistan and India complicates regional efforts," Mullen said while testifying on President Barack Obama's 2010-11 requests for 192 billion dollars for Afghanistan and Iraq wars in the next year and half.

Mullen called on for Washington's assistance to help both the nuclear-powered South Asian countries to reduce tension among them.

"While we acknowledge the sovereign right of India and Pakistan to pursue their own foreign policies, we must demonstrate our desire for continued and long-term partnership with each, and offer our help to improve confidence and understanding between them in a manner that builds long-term stability across the wider region of South Asia," he said.

"As part of our long-term regional approach, we should welcome all steps these important nations take to regenerate their back channel process on Kashmir," Mullen added.

Acknowledging the Pakistan Army's operations against Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other extremist groups, Mullen pointed out that the militant groups based in Pakistan, Afghanistan continue to pose threat to the US.

"The threats to our national security from Al-Qaeda and affiliated movements based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region remain real and persistent," The News quoted Mullen, as saying. (ANI)

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