India will not scale down Afghanistan presence: Rao | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India will not scale down Afghanistan presence: Rao

delhi Updated: Mar 16, 2010 22:47 IST
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Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao told a Washington audience on Monday that New Delhi’s restraint should not be mistaken for weakness by Pakistan and it has the capacity to “deal effectively with those that pursue destructive agendas against India and its people”.

She also declared India will not scale down its presence in Afghanistan, a Pakistani wish that is playing on American minds.

“Aggressive pronouncements by persons identified by the world as terrorists continue to be made openly against India,” Rao said in an oblique reference to LeT chief Hafeez Saeed among others.

Despite the “brazen and malignant” nature of the threats India faced, Rao said, India has made several genuine efforts to restore trust and confidence. But now in the face of Pakistani intransigence, public opinion in India “can hardly be expected to support the resumption of a full-blown composite dialogue”.

Rao’s comments come ahead of a high-level Pakistani team visit to the US.

She also said that there could not be a distinction between a good Taliban and bad Taliban.

Rao said there was “no quick solution” to the Afghanistan-Pak situation and it is “important for international community, in its own interest, to stay on the present course for as long as it was necessary”.