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Pakistan, India are friends and partners of the United States: US Defence Secretary

11 April, 2016

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NEW YORK: US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said that both Pakistan and India are friends and partners of the United States and there is no Indo-Pak hyphenation from its perspective.

Speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations here ahead of his three-day visit to India, Mr Carter said: “The US has a ‘whole global agenda’ with India, covering all issues, while the relationship with Pakistan has to do with issues of terrorism and Afghanistan.”

He reiterated that “the first thing one needs to say, from an American policy point of view, is that these are both respected partners and friends. They find themselves in very different situations. And the days are gone when we only dealt with India as the other side of the Pakistan coin, or Pakistan as the other side of the India coin. I know that there are those in India and Pakistan who are still glued to that dyad way of thinking. But the US put that behind us some time ago.

“With respect to Pakistan, which also is an important security partner, we have a whole lot of issues of which counter-terrorism looms largest. And we work with the Pakistanis all the time on that.”

Anwar Iqbal adds from Washington: A US military news­paper, Stars and Stripes, reported that Mr Carter would visit India and the Philippines to discuss new regional US bases and more defence investments in both countries.

He could announce new military investments in aircraft carriers and jet engine technologies in India, it said.

“The US-India relationship is destined to be one of the most significant partnerships of the 21st century. Ours are two great nations that share a great deal,” he said.

Mr Carter said he would discuss with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence mister the progress the two countries had made on major military projects such as building an aircraft carrier and jet fighter and engine collaboration.

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