Pak leaders showcasing India as 'enemy' to Afghanistan: US

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Washington, July 16 (ANI): While acknowledging the complexity of the Afghan conflict, a top US Senator has said that in order to counter India's role in the war ravaged country, many Pakistani leaders are trying to showcase New Delhi as Kabul's enemy.

Addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar noted that the Pakistani leadership is constantly pressing Afghan President Hamid Karzai, describing the country as their 'legitimate security concern'.

"Afghan President Karzai will continually be under pressure from those in Pakistan who will say that Afghanistan is a legitimate security interest of ours after all, not just because it's a neighbour, rather some Pakistani leaders will say because it's a way of fending off India. India is the enemy, not Afghanistan," Lugar said.

Testifying before the committee, US' Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke also said that America's pull out from Afghanistan would have catastrophic effects on the region.

"This is my personal view, but if we walk away from Afghanistan, again, as we did 21 years ago, the consequences will be similarly catastrophic because of the unique strategic position of Afghanistan, the reaction it will have in Pakistan, China, India, Iran, and as well as the larger region that includes Russia, Saudi Arabia, India and even extending to western Europe, which is concerned about terrorism from that region just as much as we are," The Daily Times quoted Holbrooke, as saying.

"So, I hope that when we talk about end state, we talk about a sustainable end state which involves continued American economic and development assistance, where we continue to fulfill our obligations to train the police and the military," he added.

Speaking during the hearing, committee chairman John Kerry underlined that the years old complications between India, Pakistan and Afghanistan had to be sorted out so that the existing crisis in the region is resolved effectively.

"The complications of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, we all know very well. It is very, very difficult with years and years of history, suspicion, conflict and paranoia. But if that can somehow be managed, that may be, by far, the most effective way to resolve this conflict," Kerry said. (ANI)

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