Instigating conflict between India and Pakistan was the main purpose of the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks,a top US official has said,praising New Delhi for defeating their designs by exercising restraint.
Observing that the attack on Mumbai was conducted by “very shrewd and ruthless murderers”,US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said: “Terrorists who launched that attack tried to upset the improving relationship between Pakistan and India.”
New Delhi did not play in their hands,Holbrooke told the PBS news channel in an interview.
“The Indians restraint themselves and the Pakistanis did not move their troops to the border. We have got to understand that to get the Pakistanis focus on the West we have to have the reduction of tension between India and Pakistan,” he said.
Referring to his visit to New Delhi last week,Holbrooke said he had very excellent consultations with Indian leaders and officials. This is for the first time that India has been made a part of Washington’s consultations on Afghanistan.
He said Pakistan,Afghanistan and India,along with the US,share a common threat from terrorists,who are “located in the same area and come from the same routes”.
“People who did 9/11 in the US,the people who attacked Mumbai and the people who seized Swat all come from the same routes and all are located in the same area,” he said. He emphasised that co-operation and reduction of tension between the two South Asian neighbours is a key factor to the success in Afghanistan.
He hoped that India and Pakistan,who have fought several wars in the last 60 years are now going to find a common cause to reduce this threat by taking the terrorists head on.
“As everyone knows that the Pakistan Army has focused on India for decades,most of us believe that they have to reorient their attention much more to the west. But in order to do that there has to be much more confidence between Pakistan and India,” Holbrooke said.