Washington, Apr.30 (ANI): A top US official has said that Pakistan must recognise the fact that by taking on the Taliban and other extremist groups threatening its very existence, it is not exposing itself to any risk from India.
Michele Flournoy, the Under Secretary for Policy in the Department of Defence, told a Congressional hearing that Pakistan has moved 100,000 troops from its eastern border to bolster the anti-Taliban operation in the restive tribal areas, and that it must be reassured that it does not face any threat from India.
“We must continue to reassure Pakistan that as it combats the terrorist threat, it is not exposing itself to increased risk along its eastern border,” Flournoy told US lawmakers.
Just a day ago the Pentagon confirmed that Islamabad has shifted 100,000 troops from the Indian border to its western border, which marked a clear shift in its strategy.
The Pentagon told the Congress that the massive shift of troops is an acknowledgement of the fact that now terrorism and internal insurgency were posing the greatest threat to Pakistan.
“More than 100,000 troops were moved from the eastern border with India. This unprecedented deployment and thinning of the lines against India indicates that Islamabad has acknowledged its domestic insurgent threat. The Nation quoted the Pentagon, as saying in its latest periodic report to the Congress on Afghanistan.
Earlier, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Flournoy said Pakistan has also raised concerns over the increasing India-US relationship.
“A final hurdle, frankly, relates to the legacy of mistrust between the United States and Pakistan. Past US sanctions, past Pakistani concerns about the growing US-India relationship, its scepticism about US staying power in the region have made it a weary partner,” Flournoy said.
“Similarly, reports of Pakistan’s tolerance and support for some violent extremist groups have created scepticism on the US side,” she added. (ANI)