Pakistan faces direct threat from extremism, not India: Clinton | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan faces direct threat from extremism, not India: Clinton

world Updated: Oct 29, 2009 01:14 IST

IANS
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Warning Pakistan that the direct threat from violent extremism it faces could destabilise the entire region, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has voiced the hope that the India and Pakistan will resume their stalled dialogue.

"But what we see as the direct threat to Pakistan right now comes from the violent extremism," she said.

"Obviously, we are hopeful that there will be a resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India, because I think the threat that Pakistan faces is a threat that could destabilise the entire region," she said, according to the transcript of the interview with Pakistan's Dawn TV before leaving for her first trip to Islamabad.

"And what we want to do is to help Pakistan really finally eliminate that threat," she said. "And what we hope is that on the ongoing challenges between India and Pakistan that can be handled politically and it would never come to any kind of military action."

In a separate interview with Geo TV of Pakistan, Clinton stressed that Washington's relationship with the two South Asian neighbours was separate and it wanted to develop solid ties with both and the "most durable" normalisation "can only come from the two countries themselves".

"Let me stress that our relationship to India is a separate relationship from our relationship to Pakistan. We want to have two solid bilateral relationships," she said, when asked about why US no longer talked about the Kashmir issue.

"We believe that we have very important interests with Pakistan and with India. Now it would be a very important step for both India and Pakistan to work to resolve their differences," she said.

"But we believe that the most durable possible outcomes of any kind of resolution or normalization can only come from the two countries themselves - developing more trust, more confidence-building measures, and working toward resolving," Clinton said.

Noting that "there was some very good work done in the last several years which we encouraged and we watched with admiration - the bus routes being open, for example," she said US was "going to encourage and hope that we can see that occurring again.

"At the end of the day, my view is that India and Pakistan have so much more to gain by working through their very difficult relationship.

"It will help improve trade and investment and it will create a better opportunity for Pakistan to prosper and progress, and that's what I hope will happen," she said.

Asked if Washington had any information about India's alleged role behind the insurgency in Balochistan, an issue raised by the Pakistan prime minister with his Indian counterpart in Sharm el-Sheikh, Clinton said: "I don't discuss intelligence."

"But let me say that I think it's very important to follow up on what happened in Sharm el-Sheikh. And we would encourage that because the air needs to be cleared and a very open understanding should exist."