Pakistan 'should not worry' about US, India cooperation


The growing economic and defense cooperation between the United States and India will have a significant regional impact but Pakistan should not worry about the latest developments following the ongoing U.S. visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to local analysts.

"This is nothing new. This is a sequel of defense and economic cooperation between the two countries, which had been started during Obama era," Hamid Mir, an Islamabad-based security analyst told Anadolu Agency on Sunday noting that New Delhi had been an old ally of Washington in the latter's efforts to contain increasing regional and global influence of China.

India is important for the U.S for two main reasons: economically and strategically, according to Mir, who rose to fame as the last journalist who had interviewed the slain al-Qaeda Chief Osama Bin laden in 2001.

"India is the second most populated country, and a huge market. It has a lot to attract U.S. companies and businessmen compared to any other country in the world. And strategically, it is understandably the first and foremost choice of Washington to contain China," he said.

Abdul Khalique Ali, a Karachi-based political analyst thinks that Washington is merely moving ahead with its long-standing policy of using New Delhi as a proxy against Beijing.

"There are no permanent friends or foes when it comes to Washington's interests. Washington's target through increasing defense and economic cooperation with New Delhi, is not Pakistan but China," Ali told Anadolu Agency.

"Pakistan has its own strategic and security importance, which cannot be simply ignored by the U.S as the two sides have had a 70-year old defense and security cooperation. Islamabad should not worry about these developments,", he added.

Mir does not give much weight to a recent U.S. decision to declare Syed Sallahuddin, the chief of a key Kashmiri pro-freedom militant group, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a "global terrorist" opining that the move will ultimately pave the way for a third-country mediation vis-à-vis lingering Kashmir dispute.

New Delhi opposes while Islamabad supports a third-party mediation to resolve the 70-year old Kashmir dispute.

"No doubt, Donald Trump has declared Syed Sallahuddin a global terrorist to appease India, which is seen as a diplomatic blow to Pakistan's Kashmir policy but indirectly, it has negated the Indian stance that Kashmir is a bilateral dispute and there should be no third party mediation," Mir went on to say.

In addition to that, Mir observed, the so-called sanctions would only seize Sallahuddin's assets in America from travelling to the U.S.

"Neither Sallahuddin has any assets in America nor does he need to travel to the U.S," he maintained.

He recalled that the former Afghan prime minister and chief of Hizb-e-Islami party, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar had been on the U.S. and the UN terror lists but in the end, not only all the sanctions were withdrawn but he also became their hope for peace in the war-torn country.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump met in Washington DC for the first time on Monday, issuing a warning to Pakistan in a joint statement.

The leaders stressed that terrorism was a global scourge that must be fought and terrorist safe havens rooted out in every part of the world. They resolved that India and the United States would fight together against this grave challenge to humanity.

They committed to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including al-Qaeda, Daesh, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, D-Company, and their affiliates.

Indian analysts feel that the joint statement is tough on terrorism.

"The visit was challenging on current circumstances with limited expectations. But still it turned out to be good for India. The statement on terrorism is a victory for India," said Ashok Malik, a distinguished fellow, and Head of Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Neighbourhood Regional Studies Initiative.

"The U.S. has also committed a partnership with India across Asia in different sectors, which is a major victory domestically for Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he added.

India appreciated the United States designation of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist as evidence of the commitment of the United States to end terror in all its forms.

In this spirit, the leaders welcomed a new consultation mechanism on domestic and international terrorist designations listing proposals.

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