India isn’t a threat to Pakistan, US tells Islamabad


The US on Wednesday told Islamabad that “existential threat to Pakistan is not India, the existential threat to Pakistan involves extremism within its own borders”.
It also said Pakistan, India and Iran could play a “constructive role” in a regional solution to Afghanistan. “We have made no secret of the fact that we’ve told Pakistan clearly that we believe that the existential threat to Pakistan is not India, the existential threat to Pakistan involves extremism within its own borders,” State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters.
On Afghanistan, he said, “We are supporting an Afghan-led process. We recognise that ultimately, the solution in Afghanistan involves effective military action, but also involves political reconciliation.”
“But to the extent that the solution to Afghanistan does involve a regional solution, we recognise that Pakistan, India, Iran, other countries have an interest in a stable Afghanistan and can play a constructive role.” Asked if the reported $2 billion new military assistance package for Pakistan would set off an arms race with India, he said, “It’s not about an arms race. We have had discussions with Pakistan to build up their capabilities, but also how to direct those capabilities.”
He said, “The US wants to make sure that Pakistan is playing a constructive role in the region and is establishing an appropriate and constructive relationship with Afghanistan going forward.”
“Afghanistan is sovereign. It has a right to chart its own future,” Crowley said. “But it will also, we recognise, have relationships with its neighbours, which will include Pakistan, which will include India, which will include Iran, and will include other countries.”
“And so we are in dialogue with all of these countries to try to build effective, sustainable relationships across the region,” he said. “We believe that there the potential for cooperation certainly outweighs what might be perceptions s about competition in the region,” he said.
“We want to see a stable, peaceful region, and a significant part of that involves helping to shape a stable, peaceful Afghanistan.” Crowley noted that Pakistan had made progress with military campaigns in Swat and South Waziristan but added that the US wanted additional focus on North Waziristan.