Relations with Pakistan will not be at India's expense: Burns

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Washington, June 2 (ANI): US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J Burns has said that while Washington continues to attach considerable importance to its relations with Pakistan, those relations will not flower at the expense of India.

"We refuse to accept the notion that somehow we can have strong relations with only one country in South Asia at a time. We do not see relations in Asia as a zero-sum game. Instead, we attach great significance to India's expanding role in East Asia, and welcome our partnership across the region," said Burns ahead of the first US-India Strategic Dialogue that is being held here from June 3.

"We have an interest in better relations between India and Pakistan, but we will not inject ourselves into issues that divide the two governments unless India and Pakistan ask for our help, and we will continue to urge Pakistan to take decisive action against the violent extremists who threaten its own interests as much as they do the security of India and America," he added.

"To put it simply, the only "hyphen" that we will pursue with respect to our relationship is the one that links the United States and India," Burns said.

He also said that Washington highly values India's role in building economic and social opportunities in Afghanistan, and see India's continued involvement there as a key part of that country's future success, not part of its present problems. By Asif Ismail (ANI)

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