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US interests in Afghan closer to India than Pak: experts

world Updated: Nov 06, 2009 13:20 IST

India shares more in common with the US than Pakistan as far as interests in Afghanistan are concerned, noted US scholars told lawmakers in Washington, arguing that New Delhi cannot be stopped from being involved in rebuilding the war-torn country.

"We cannot say to India stop being involved in Afghanistan... In fact, to step back... India, even Iran, has a lot more in common with us in our interest in Afghanistan than does Pakistan," Christine Fair, Assistant Professor at the Georgetown University told US lawmakers.

Speaking at a Congressional hearing, Fair said the strategic elite in Pakistan would prefer a chaotic Afghanistan than a stable Afghanistan which will most certainly have greater ties to Iran in particular with India.

Muqtedar Khan, Associated Professor, University of Delaware told members of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, that Pakistan has used the chaos in Afghanistan as strategic asset.

"Pakistan was not interested in stability in Afghanistan because instability in Afghanistan has been a source of tremendous military and financial aid from the US during the '70s, '80s, '90s and once again," he said.

Fair said India is the long term strategic ally of US.

"India doing what it wants and needs to in the region basically prevents China from consolidating... So this is what's motivating the long term strategic interest in India is opportunity," she said.