The US has said that India does not need to be worried about its enhanced aid to Pakistan, attempting to dispel India’s fears that Islamabad might use the aid to reinforce its military structure against India.
“As you know, the new focus in terms of our relationship with Pakistan is to dramatically increase economic assistance to Pakistan to help that country overcome some of its economic challenges and to extend the writ of the government to other parts of Pakistan,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said.
“And all of those things should be very much in India’s interest as well,” he said adding, “So I think, people of India should support and agree with what we are trying to do.”
As for apprehensions about Pakistan using US aid to strengthen its military against India, Blake said that Islamabad is increasingly focussed on dealing with the extremist problems in its own country.”
Describing Pakistan and Afghanistan as “a strategic priority”, he said that US intends to discuss with India “very closely” on fulfilling its goals in the region.
“As you say, Afghanistan and Pakistan is a strategic priority. But I do not want to imply that that would come at the expense of India. India would continue to be also a strategic priority for the US. And I think that will come out very clearly during Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton’s visit to New Delhi this month,” he said.