US interests not guiding India’s Pakistan policy: Antony

January 20th, 2009 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Tuesday denied that US interests in Afghanistan were restraining India from taking military action against Pakistan over the Mumbai terror attack.Speaking to reporters at a function here, Antony said India would decide on military options “after carefully assessing the situation… At the moment the government is concentrating on diplomatic options”.

Asked if the US dependence on Islamabad to fight the Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan was preventing India from exercising its military options against Pakistan, Antony said: “We are friendly to all countries but nothing can influence our decisions.”

The minister added that India had no intention of sending troops to Afghanistan and would continue with its policy of providing humanitarian aid to Kabul.

“There is no question of sending troops to Afghanistan. India has only been providing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan,” he said.

Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor had said Jan 14 that Indian military presence in Afghanistan would give New Delhi some strategic depth against Pakistan. But he quickly added that any decision in this regard had to come from the political leadership.

India has time and again ruled out sending troops to Afghanistan to be part of the US-led war on terror.

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