US asks India to help Pakistan fight terror

April 21st, 2009 - 11:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Washington, April 21 (IANS) The US government has urged India to support Pakistan in its war against Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents along the Afghan border, a media report said Tuesday.
“I think it will be important for India to make clear that as Pakistan takes steps to deal with extremists on its own territory, India will be supportive,” the Press TV quoted Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg as saying Monday.

Steinberg said that New Delhi has a “huge stake” in making sure both Pakistan and its neighbour Afghanistan is stable.

The US has also called on India to pull back its troops that were deployed on the Pakistan border after the Mumbai terror attacks last year, the report said. Over 170 people were killed and many more injured in the attack.

Pakistan, in response, moved thousands of its soldiers from its border with Afghanistan to the Indian border.

The report citing unnamed sources said that the reason behind the recent US demand to pull back troops is that President Barack Obama is gearing up to launch a bigger military offensive in Afghanistan, during which the US will need the help of Pakistani troops along the volatile Afghan-Pakistan border.

The tribal regions along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border have become a safe haven for militants after a US-led invasion toppled the Taliban rule in Afghanistan in late 2001, and sent the insurgents to areas bordering Pakistan.

India and Afghanistan enjoy strong ties but both sides have tense relations with Pakistan. However, Afghanistan’s relations with Pakistan have been improving under the current administration in Islamabad.

Washington has declared Islamabad an integral part of its fight against Al Qaeda and Taliban. The US views reducing tensions between Pakistan and India as part of its efforts to stabilise Afghanistan.

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