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Pakistan views all challenges through the lens of ‘Indian threat’: US official

A top American intelligence official on Tuesday told US lawmakers that Pakistan is “harbouring terrorists” and using them as "reserve" in Afghanistan because it views all of the challenges through the lens of an “Indian threat”.

India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: May 24, 2017 11:29 IST
Lt Gen Vincent Stewart
Image Source : AP Lt Gen Vincent Stewart

A top American intelligence official on Tuesday told US lawmakers that Pakistan is “harbouring terrorists” and using them as "reserve" in Afghanistan because it views all of the challenges through the lens of an “Indian threat”.

Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, director, Defense Intelligence Agency told members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee that Pakistan does not want heavy Indian influence in Afghanistan and added that Islamabad sees role for these terrorists if Afghanistan leans towards India.

"Pakistan views Afghanistan or desires for Afghanistan some of the same things we want: a safe, secure, stable Afghanistan. One addition — one that does not have heavy Indian influence in Afghanistan," Lt Gen Vincent Stewart said during a Congressional hearing on worldwide threats.

"They view all of the challenges through the lens of an Indian threat to the state of Pakistan," Stewart said.

"So they (Pakistan) hold in reserve terrorist organisation — we define them as terrorist organisations, they hold them in reserve so that — if Afghanistan leans towards India, they will no longer be supportive of an idea of a stable and secure Afghanistan that could undermine Pakistan interest," Stewart said.

He said Pakistan needs to be told very clearly that Afghanistan's security and stability is in the interest of all of the parties in the region and does not pose a risk to Pakistan.

"We've got to convince Pakistan that if they're harbouring any of the Haqqani network members that it is not in their interest to continue to host of Haqqani network, that we ought to be working together to go after those 20 terrorist organisations that undermine not just Afghanistan, not just Pakistan, but all of the region," he said.

"And so, we've to make sure we're pushing them to do more against the Haqqani network. Then (they should) separate the Taliban from the Pashtun, which want a Pashtun dominated Afghanistan," he said.

"So, we've got to get the conversation going again with Pakistan about their role in not harboring any of these terrorists, helping to stabilise Afghanistan," he added.

Hoping that US may have some progress in this, Stewart said Pakistan also have some influence in bringing the Taliban to the peace table.

(With PTI inputs)

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