US hopes intelligence sharing will reduce India, Pakistan tensions

May 23rd, 2009 - 9:45 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 23 (IANS) As a new government took office in New Delhi, the United States expressed satisfaction at India and Pakistan sharing intelligence to show needed cooperation to ensure peace and stability in the region.

“Obviously he’s in the past few weeks have been very involved in our discussions with Pakistan” related to recent meetings in Washington,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday when asked how President Barack Obama wants to engage the two South Asian neighbours to reduce tensions between them.

“And obviously we’ve seen reports recently of, without getting into any details, of intelligence sharing, which I think denotes important cooperation that we think is needed on both sides in order to ensure peace and stability in the region,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal had Thursday cited unnamed officials to suggest Pakistan and India have begun sharing intelligence on Islamic extremists, with the prodding of the US, paving the way for greater cooperation between them.

The Central Intelligence Agency arranged for Pakistan and India to share information on Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group widely blamed for last November’s terrorist attack on Mumbai, as well as on Taliban commanders who are leading the insurgency against Pakistan’s government, it cited US officials as saying.

Washington hopes that when India sees the intelligence and evidence that Islamabad is seriously fighting the militants in some areas, it will ease its deployments against Pakistan-which in turn would prompt Islamabad to put even more focus on the battle at home, the leading US financial daily said.

“We have to satisfy the Mumbai question, and show India that the threat is abating,” a US official involved in developing Washington’s South Asia strategy was cited as saying.

Intelligence sharing on Mumbai has led to a somewhat more frequent exchange of information, the Journal said citing US and Pakistani officials.

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