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Ties with Pak shouldn't worry India: NATO

The 26-member body said that growing military and political ties with Pak were solely focused on helping Afghanistan.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 12:20 IST

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has said the body's growing military and political ties with Pakistan should not worry India as the efforts were solely focused on helping Afghanistan.

"No one should look at these relations with concern," NATO spokesman James Appathurai said.

"NATO's relations with Pakistan stand on its own merit. It is threatening to no one. They flow from very obvious shared interest which is to help Afghanistan stand on its feet," he said.

But all of Afghanistan's neighbours, he noted, had the right to information about what NATO is doing there.

"There is an intention to engage with the Indian government precisely on this issue, to explain what we are doing and why we are doing," said the spokesman for the 26-member alliance.

The essence of the relationship with Pakistan will be pragmatic, he said.

"We do need technical discussion, technical cooperation, specifically related to support in Afghanistan. It will continue to be a pragmatic relationship based primarily on our shared interest in Afghanistan."

"Pakistan, of course, wants ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) to succeed. They have the same interest as we all have."

NATO deputy secretary general Alessandro Minuto Rizzo met Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and other senior officials of the Pakistani defence and foreign ministry and intelligence services last week, the spokesman added.

The two sides discussed the security environment and also the importance of building links between Pakistan and NATO.