US pushes for India-Pakistan dialogue despite ISI-Taliban links

July 30th, 2010 - 10:38 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Washington, July 30 (IANS) The United States says it encourages a dialogue between India and Pakistan despite “revelations” of known links between Pakistani spy agency ISI and the Taliban as it is in the interest of all three nations.
“We are simply encouraging Pakistan and India to pursue a dialogue that we think is fundamentally in the interest of both countries,” State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley told reporters Thursday when asked why the US was nudging India for talks when it knew that ISI was funding Taliban to kill Indians in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan’s relationship with elements that morphed into the Taliban go back to the Soviet occupation were very well known,” he said asserting like other US officials from President Barack Obama down that there was nothing new in the over 90,000 secret US military documents leaked by WikiLeaks.

“They’re known to the United States, they’re known to India, and they’re known to Afghanistan,” Crowley said when asked if the US had shared with India intelligence about ISI’s relationship with the Taliban before it asked India to go in for talks with Pakistan.

Asked if the US would now be putting more pressure ally Pakistan to bring those responsible for Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as the US now acknowledges the relationship between the ISI and the Taliban extremist groups of which India had provided proof, Crowley repeated: “It is not a new revelation.”

“Our concerns about the ISI and its contacts with some of these elements has been well known,” he said. “It has been a part of our conversation with Pakistan for some time. Pakistan itself has commented publicly about this.

“But we are focused on the decisive action that Pakistan must take to deal with the threat that is within its borders and has, in the last year or two, become clear that it’s a threat to Pakistan, and we are satisfied with the aggressive action that Pakistan has taken in response,” Crowley said.

“We want to see that aggressive action continue,” he said. “Where we have concerns about ongoing contacts, we will not hesitate to raise them with Pakistan.”

But ultimately, as we seek a military and political solution to this challenge, it will take the leadership of Afghanistan, as was outlined last week in the Kabul conference, he said. “But Pakistan will have to play a role in this, as will other countries in the region.”

As for the India-Pakistan dialogue, Crowley said: “Well, quite simply, we encourage dialogue between India and Pakistan because it’s in the interest of both countries and the interest of the United States.

“These countries that have gone to war multiple times in the past 60 years need to build their own relationship, need to find ways beyond military conflict to remove tensions in the relationship, (and) gain a greater understanding that can be of substantial benefit to both the people of India and the people of Pakistan.”

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