India no threat to Pakistan: US

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Washington, Jun.4 (ANI): The United States has clarified that it does not see India as a threat to Pakistan, thus it would continue to urge Islamabad to move out troops from the eastern border to focus more on the volatile western border with Afghanistan.

During a web chat with Indian reporters, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake acknowledged that Pakistan has redeployed troops away from the border with India, and maintained that Pakistan was 'indispensable for Washington for success in Afghanistan.

"We are very encouraged that the Pakistani army has redeployed troops away from the Indian border. We do not see India as a threat to Pakistan and so we would encourage that process to continue," The Dawn quoted Blake, as saying.

Blake also pointed out that the brazen November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks was a turning point in relationship between the two countries to address the global terror aspirations of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

"The attack that took place in Mumbai in November of 2008... was really a turning point in many ways for what became much closer counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation between our two countries to help counter this threat," Blake said.

"The growing global scope and ambition of groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba has increased need for the United States, India and Pakistan to cooperate to address this growing threat," he added.

Responding to a question Blake, however, rejected the notion regarding the Pakistan Army, and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) using terror groups for waging a proxy war against India.

"I don't think it's so much that the Pakistan Army is involved in terror attacks; it's more that it is terrorist organisations inside Pakistan who have been involved in attacks, not only against India, but against the United States," the top US official said.

During the interaction, Blake's attention was also drawn towards New Delhi's concerns over the White House' decision to sell sophisticated weapons worth billions to Islamabad.

Blake assured that whatever weapons are being provided to Pakistan would only be used in the counterterrorism efforts, and that they would not be redirected against India.

"Whatever military assistance we are providing to Pakistan is to be used in its fight against terrorism, particularly in its border areas with Afghanistan. That is really the primary mission in front of the Pakistani army and the Pakistani military," he said. (ANI)

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