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Pak recognises 'threat' from Taliban more serious than India

world Updated: May 18, 2009 15:27 IST
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US President Barack Obama has said that he is encouraged by the "decided shift" in Pakistan Army's recognition that the "threat" from Taliban was "much more immediate and serious" than it faced from India.

"One of the encouraging things is, over the last several weeks we've seen a decided shift in the Pakistan Army's recognition that the threat from extremism is a much more immediate and serious one than the threat from India that they've traditionally focused on," Obama said in an interview to Newsweek aboard Air Force One.

Less than a month ago at a press conference held to mark his 100th day in office, Obama had said that the Pakistani Army considers India as a more serious threat than those posed by terrorists.

This, he said, was "misguided". The issue was raised by Obama with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari during his meeting with him at the White House early this month. Several top US officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also raised the issue with their Pakistani counterparts when they visited Washington this month.

Obama Administration officials say the Pakistani establishment now appears to be more convinced by their argument. Soon after the meeting, Zardari in a series of interviews given to the US media echoed Obama.

Zardari said that he never considered India as a serious threat and that his country is fighting for its survival by waging the war against terrorism.