Pakistan’s concerns about Indias presence in war-torn Afghan cities like Kandahar and Jalalabad is simply exaggerated,a top Obama Administration official has said.
Coming in the wake of a terrorist attack on Indian consulate in Jalalabad last week,such a statement from the Obama administration could be considered as significant.
I think its exaggerated… presence is rather minuscule. Youre talking about a dozen or two-dozen people at most. India has a strong economic and cultural presence in Afghanistan. Its perfectly reasonably for them to have a diplomatic and consular presence in the country, Special US Representative for Afghanistan-Pakistan James Dobbins told BBCHindi.com in an interview.
A suicide attack targeting the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad killed 12 people,including three suicide bombers on Saturday.
I understand the source of Pakistans concern. It relates to this issue of cross-border militancy. As Ive indicated,the dominant infiltration of militants is from Pakistan into Afghanistan but recognise that there is some infiltration of hostile militants in the other direction as well so Pakistans concerns arent groundless,theyre simply in our judgements exaggerated, Dobbins said.
Dobbins,who visited India a couple of weeks ago,said,I dont think either India or Pakistan want NATO or the US to leave entirely. Im sure that both India and Pakistan will be using their influence in essentially the same manner.
To encourage Afghans to conclude an agreement with the US and with NATO which will allow a continued military presence to advise and assist the afghan security forces. In this regard India and Pakistani policies are identical.
Dobbins said his biggest concerns for Afghanistan and Pakistan are similar. They derive from the continued threat of insurgency and militant groups that want to overthrow the government,overthrow the constitutional order,undermine democracy, he said.