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In case of conflict US wouldn’t automatically support New Delhi, says Dawn

Ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first visit to India and Pakistan next week, US administration has indicated its understanding about the region by saying that PM Narendra Modi can’t “pursue peace” with Pakistan in a way that “cuts his own security.” Washington has also asserted that it was in Islamabad’s interest to build confidence with New Delhi to resume commercial ties.

According to reports from Washington, an administration official with deeper knowledge into south Asia policy was responding to questions of an Indian journalist. He has reportedly said, “It’s clear to everyone that Prime Minister Modi wants peace in the region, but he can’t pursue peace (with Pakistan) in a way that cuts against his own security. So that (having peace talks with Pakistan) is up to his judgment.”

The Us official further said, “I think India has to make its own judgement on that. And India will be the best judge. Certainly, President Trump has great respect for Prime Minister Modi and his wisdom, and leadership ability.”

He noted that South Asia and bridge in the central Asia is one of the lease economically integrated areas saying that there is tremendous potential to be unleashed.

The US official said, “And what we hope is that the dialogue, continued dialogue, continued efforts to generate a higher degree of understanding to convince those in Pakistan, including the Pakistani army, that it is really in their interest to build confidence to open commerce and to achieve the kind of peace that would lead to prosperity.”

On Wednesday, Rex Tillerson had reportedly said at a Washington based think tank that US was going to have dramatically deepened relationship with India. He was quoted saying, “security issues that concern India are concerns of the US too”.

In December 2015, Sushma Swaraj, while participating at “Heart of Asia” conference in Islamabad said that India was “willing to join hands with Pakistan and Afghanistan for trade and commerce.”  She had also asserted that “India is ready to receive Afghanistan trucks at Attari border.”

Meanwhile, Dawn, a leading Pakistani newspaper reports from Washington, that State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has said that America’s close relationship with India does not mean that if Indians had and armed conflict with another country, Washington is automatically going to side with New Delhi.

Dawn further said that the spokesperson clarified Tillerson’s statement saying that he was talking about “shared-interests” as the two countries already cooperate in many key areas: from military exercises to intelligence gathering and counterterrorism.

Since Pathankot terror attack in January 2016, India has decided not to talk with Pakistan unless it stops supporting terrorists. Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has reiterated time and again that “talks and terror” cannot go together.

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