US has much bigger global agenda with India than Pakistan

New York, April 9 (IANS) United States has a much bigger global agenda with India in contrast to Pakistan and Washington has moved far beyond looking at its relations with the South Asian neighbors as linked, according to US Defence Secretary Ash Carter.

“We have much more to do with India today than has to do with Pakistan.” Carter said Friday. “There’s important business with respect to Pakistan, but we have much more – a whole global agenda with India, an agenda that covers all kinds of issues.”

He was answering a question from the audience during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations about how the growing US ties with India will impact Washington’s relations with Islamabad.

In his address on the eve of leaving on a visit to India, Carter said US relations with India was “destined to be one of the most significant partnerships of the 21st century.” He said there would be “exciting new projects” and a “strategic handshake” with India encompassing military cooperation and defence co-production.

“The days are gone when we only deal with India as the other side of the Pakistan coin, or Pakistan as the other side of the India coin,” he said. “I know that there are those in India and Pakistan who are still glued to that dyad way of thinking. But the United States put that behind us some time ago.”

While describing Pakistan as “an important security partner,” he said, “We have a big set of issues having to do with the border with Afghanistan, where we continue to operate; with terrorism, both on the territory of Pakistan and also obviously cross-border into Afghanistan, including affecting US service members there.” He added, “I’m sure I’ll be asked about it in India.”

“It’s long past – we’re long past the point in US policymaking where we look at the India-Pakistan dyad as the whole story for either one of them,” he said.

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