International Affairs

US Should convince India to pull back troops from Kashmir: Kit Bond

WASHINGTON:

The U.S. should persuade India to pull back its troops from Kashmir so that Pakistan could focus more effectively on the fight against violent extremism,

a key Republican senator said as lawmakers urged Washington against dictating terms to Islamabad.

Appearing on FOX News Senator Kit Bond, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee and Democratic Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, favoured U.S. economic and security assistance for the key South Asian country, considered by the Obama Administration as critical to its anti-terrorism success in Afghanistan.

Bond was asked what the United States could do to help Pakistan fight and offset the Taliban influence in some northwestern parts of the country. Bond said:

“I visited Pakistan and we looked in great deal into what’s going on. Number one, we need to convince India to move its troops off the (Line of Control) in Kashmir so we, the Pakistani military, under General (Ashfaq Parvez) Kayani, can move them back to fight the terrorists, But we need to get the Pakistani troop over there (on border with Afghanistan). We can provide them whatever guidance, logistics or intelligence they want”

Bond said President Barack Obama has announced the good framework for a policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but he has to make it clear that it’s going to be a full-fledged counter insurgency strategy, which leads to durable success.

Democratic Senator Levin agreed, saying “Well, I basically agree with that. Only the Pakistanis can save themselves. They’ve got to make a decision what kind of country they want. We can be of assistance to them. “We can support them. We can provide intelligence. We can provide other kinds of support, particularly economic support, providing it’s going to be effective.

“But it’s kind of like Iraq. We can be helpful, but we can’t dominate. We can’t dictate. Only the Pakistanis, like only the Iraqis, can resolve their own political issues and save their own country.”
input from agencies

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Mubashar Nizam

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