Gates Dismisses Pak Perceptions of US Propping India

Dismissing Pakistani perceptions that it was propping India, the US has said that New Delhi ‘did not need us for that purpose’ and that the two neighbours resolve their differences bilaterally, reported PTI.

“I would tell you that the United States clearly has not or has ever propped up India. India has not needed us for that purpose and, in fact, those familiar with the history would know that our relationship with India was fairly strained until not too many years ago,” defence secretary Robert Gates was quoted as saying.

The statement came following questions fired at Gates during his recent visit to Pakistan, full record of which has been released by the Pentagon.

In his exchanges with leaders of the two countries, the US defence secretary said that India and Pakistan had told them to resolve the differences bilaterally.

“Having an open and candid and completely transparent dialogue… seems to be the best way to avoid misunderstanding,” Gates said in key remarks.

Stating that the two countries are apprehensive of each-other’s role in Afghanistan, he urged them to clear any such misunderstanding in any future dialogue.

Gates also suggested that New Delhi and Islamabad could clear the doubts through back channel discussions.

While admitting that neither Islamabad nor New Delhi saw any role for third party intervention in their bilateral dialogue, Gates said: “If we can be of any help and if the two parties want us to be of help, we will do what we can. We are prepared to play a constructive role, but only if both parties want us to be involved.”

Gates said that US had made it clear that terrorist outfits like the Taliban in Afghanistan, Taliban in Pakistan, al-Qaida, Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba were working together which is a common threat to ‘US, Pakistan, Afghanistan as well as India’.

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