WASHINGTON: India’s economic activities in Afghanistan pose “no direct threat” to Pakistan, a senior US official has said, asserting that Islamabad needs to change some of its “unhelpful behaviour” by cooperating with America to achieve the counter-terrorism goals in the region.
US President Donald Trump has sought an enhanced role for India in bringing peace in Afghanistan as he ruled out a hasty withdrawal of troops while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy on Monday.
“While we welcome India’s role in Afghanistan, it has a lot of goodwill, they are doing developmental projects. They have given USD 3 billion in aid and US appreciates that and wants that to continue. But again we do not see that a direct threat to Pakistan,” the White House official said on condition of anonymity.
“I am not going to discuss the steps and measures that the US is considering pursuing with Pakistan,” a White House official said when asked about the critical statements coming from Pakistan after Trump’s South Asia strategy announcement.
“There is some frustration in Pakistan. We just want to emphasise that Pakistan really has the choice here. It can choose to cooperate with the US and change some of the unhelpful behaviours. That is very much in its interest. The US is not taking a tougher approach just to make Pakistani lives more difficult,” the official said yesterday.
The approach is aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan which will benefit Pakistan as well, he said.
“We do have areas where we cooperate that will continue.