US denies India tilt, asks Pakistan to tackle Haqqani NetworkSeptember 28th, 2011 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Sep 28 (IANS) Dismissing Islamabad’s suggestions that it has tilted toward India since the Cold War, the US has reminded its key ally that US and Pakistan “have to work together on the terrorist threats” particularly the Haqqani Network.
“I think what you have heard in these statements is shared on the US side in the sense that the United States and Pakistan have to work together on the terrorist threats that we both face,” State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland told reporters Tuesday in response to a question.
“And particularly we have to work together in confronting the Haqqani Network and then moving on to other issues. So from that perspective, that we need to roll up our sleeves and do the work, we are making that case ourselves,” she said.
The US has held the Haqqani Network responsible for the recent attack on the US embassy in Kabul.
“With regard to the concern expressed with regard to US-India relations, the US does not consider this a zero-sum game, US-India or US-Pakistan,” Nuland said.
“We need and we seek good, strong relations with each, and we also strongly support the improvement of relations between India and Pakistan, particularly the talks that they are engaged in now on Kashmir and other issues,” she said.
Reminded that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen had described the Haqqani Network as a “virtual arm” of the Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), she said: “Where we are focused at the moment is in trying to work this problem together with Pakistan, and we’re going to continue to try to do that.”
Asked what US would do if the Pakistani government doesn’t do enough to break the links between the ISI and the Haqqani Network, Nuland said: “Obviously, if the Pakistani government chooses not to take action, we would have to carefully consider how to proceed.”
At the White House too spokesman Jay Carney said “the Pakistani government needs to take action to deal with the things links that exist there”.
Asked if the US will take any action if the Pakistani government fails to sever ties with Haqqani, he said: “We obviously are always reviewing our aid programmes.”
“We obviously take it seriously and discuss these matters with our Pakistani counterparts.”
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