Supporting India’s counter-terrorism measures and condemning terrorism, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said that the US too has suffered from terrorism emanating from Pakistan. “We too have suffered from terrorism emanating from territory of Pakistan, most significantly in Afghanistan, and who do it should be brought to justice and brought to account,” said Mr Carter while addressing a joint press conference with India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. However, clarifying the US relations with Pakistan, he said, “We have a relationship with Pakistan which we value and we also pursue it in our interest. We have no intention in conflict between India and Pakistan in anyway.”
After India expressed concern over the US decision to sell eight F-16s to Pakistan, Mr Carter said that the US takes terror emanating from Pakistan ‘very seriously’ and the F-16 fighter jets have been given to it to fight terrorism. Comparing India’s relations with Russia, he said, “the US values its relations with Pakistan. India also has relations with other countries like Russia. We respect that”.
While dismissing hesitations in India over the US offer to sell F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan, Mr Carter said, “We have a different vision of India; if describing, one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century in which all sorts of things are going to be possible in the future as we share many interests”.
Elaborating that the US policy with India is different from what it was in the past Mr Carter said, “It is a thing of the past for us to think about India only in relation to Pakistan or Pakistan in only relation to India. That’s the distant past.” On the collaboration with India military he said, “And one thing I could add is the more we work with Indian military on projects of the crime we discussed today, and technology to help protect our two societies from terrorism. The American position on terrorism affecting India is clear and unequivocal”.
According to experts, Mr Carter views India-US defence ties as an integral part of US policies in the Asia-Pacific, which he considered the single most consequential region for America’s future. As a matter of fact, the US is uncomfortable with the growing influence of China, particularly Chinese actions in the South China Sea that has raised serious regional concerns.
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